Monday, February 03, 2020


Shwmae from the banks of River Lleidi!

Well, February is here and with it the quick march towards spring has begun. And also the UK begins life outside of the EU. Hopefully by the time this post goes live the sovereignty will be surging but at the time of writing (1st Feb) it ain’t feeling like it. And while I am certain brexit will be a slow drawn out air leaking out of a balloon like catastrophe, I am somewhat hopeful. I’m hopeful that this is the darkness before the dawn. I’m hopeful that from this trash heap either Wales & Scotland will regain their independence while Ireland reunifies or, at the very least, the UK becomes more equal and representative of the nations that make it up. I’m hopeful things will change if only because the majority of brexiters are politically disinterested and nostalgic for a version of the world that has never existed (in Welsh we call this Hiraeth). They don't want to have to think about politics and brexit every hour of every day. But they’ll have to. They're now going to have to justify brexit every single day; every day Britain isn't the land of milk and honey, every day the NHS is under-funded they’ll have to defend this folly. They're going to have to justify every job lost and every unfavourable trade deal we get lumbered with. It's all on them. They’ll hate winning far more than they ever hated idea of losing. While the remainer side seems far less apathetic and more willing to get engaged with politics as well as being demographically more progressive and outward looking. Which over the next ten years I think will lead to something better.

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obliged to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. – Rabbi Tarfon

Speaking of cons, I’ve been looking for any nearby Volunteer comms jobs. I figure it’ll be a good experience while I job hunt. Recently came across one that while only being a few hours a week had a full time Comms Manager job spec that also required over ten years’ experience. Which is insane. Anyone with that much experience ain’t doing that much work for free. Which is a shame because it was a worthy sounding charity.

Sticking with the marketing theme, I completed the Google Digital Marketing course, sat the final exam… and failed! The section that flummoxed me was the analytics section; I got some jargon mixed up. So now I have to wait ten hours before I can re-sit the exam. It’s only 40 questions of multiple choice but exams are my kryptonite. UPDATE: Just prior to posting this I re-sat the exam AND PASSED WITH 87%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A brief update: The tax fraud shenanigans are slowly moving forward in a positive direction. I think. Again, when it’s all resolved I will write it all up here but, oh boy the end to this cannot arrive fast enough.

While we’re on the subject of law and order, it was all go in my street recently.

Police closing off the street, armed response officer taking up positions. For a few hours it was all very exciting.

While not quite as exciting, the first week of introducing weights into my gym routine went well. I mean the first two days involved me being unable to use my arms in any way other than to impersonate a T-Rex. But that passed pretty quickly thankfully, I think because I’ve been using plant protein powder. Not that I’m looking to bulk up; last year I saw a dietitian and they said I actually wasn’t eating enough and that I needed more protein in my diet. So here we are. Every morning I am like an alchemist just to get it to taste palatable. My current concoction is:

  •           350ml water.
  •           1 tblspn powdered plant protein.
  •           1 tspn cacao powder.
  •           2 stevia sweetener tablets.
  •           1 tblspn caramel coffee syrup.

That last ingredient may seem like a cheat but it adds just enough flavour to make the whole thing drinkable. This week the plan is to up the kg’s I lift so we’ll see if it really is making a difference.

Random side story: Made brownies for a friend. Only because they mentioned a cafĂ© in town having great brownies when they’d never tried mine. My recipe and technique are a closely guarded secret and this photo reveals far too much information but I trust you.

My brownies are quite possibly the greatest in the world and the idea of my friend eating what may as well be actual faeces makes me sad. I’ve witnessed grown humans have actual arguments over my brownies and it sort of amuses me that in eating mine, all other brownies become trash. Life is about the little joys. HAHA!

Speaking of satisfying victories, this week’s progress on Duolingo has seen me move up to the Emerald league. I managed to crawl into the top ten in the final moments, forcing some poor sod to spend another week in the Ruby league.


Sticking with the Welsh language, The Guardian can get in the sea! I like reading their stuff when it concerns politics but pretty much every time they write about Wales it’s like reading dispatches from an early 19th Century Ex-pat writing from some remote corner of the empire about how the place is both backwards and savage but oh so beautiful.  Eww.

When I started outlining this post I wasn’t sure I’d have enough to write about and was planning to do a listicle type post but this is clocking in at over 900 words so I’m thinking I’ll just do a slimmed down list about the stuff I’m playing catch up with.

I’ve signed up to a lot of newsletters, quite possibly more than is humanly possible to read in a single lifetime and so I have over 200 of the things cluttering up my inbox. Some of them are from creatives that I’m a fan of; others are brilliant curators of useful and interesting links and information. Here some that I’m catching up with:

Warren Ellis – Comic writer, novelist, screenwriter and mad hermit in the Republic of Newsletters. The first newsletter I followed and for the most part the direction pointer to the other newsletters I’ve signed up to. On top of writing about his projects there’s recommendations on tech, writing tools, books and methods of working that I find immensely useful.

Ganzeer – Just saying Ganzeer is an artist feels like I’m underselling everything he does. His work covers, comics, murals, graphic design, paintings and much more. Another good newsletter to follow for an insight into methods of working.

Sean Bonner – An eclectic curation of links as well as his own commentary on any number of topics. I have never read a newsletter of Sean’s that didn’t result in a few hours of googling and Wikipedia rabbit hole diving.

Elsewhere – So one of my many interests is psychogeography, not the Guardian style hipster twat finds long words to describe going for a walk psychogeography, but more the Iain Sinclair telling stories that fuse myth and history with a physical space type of psychogeography. If that sounds remotely interesting to you then Elsewhere is worth checking out. it is a fantastic online journal dedicated to the idea of place.

Cat Vincent - Fortean journalist, writes about magic, religion and all associated oddities. Usually has some fascinating social commentary from an occult perspective and another good example of link curation if you’re researching all things weird.

Not quite stuff I’m catching up with but stuff I’m listening to at the minute.

Georgia Ruth – This should probably be in the podcast section but what the hell. So since starting to dysgu Cymraeg I’ve been doing deep dives into Welsh language music. And Georgia Ruth’s show on Radio Cymru is a marvellous curation of music. Also, she is a brilliant musician in her own right that you should absolutely check out.

Adwaith – A post punk trio based just down the road from me in the City State of Carmarthen. They recently won the Welsh Music Prize. I first heard them on the afore mentioned radio show of Georgia Ruth and have enjoyed working my way through their albums.

Super Furry Animals – Maybe an obvious choice on the Welsh music deep dive but They kind of passed me by when I was younger so I’m really liking catching up with their music.

Gorrillaz – Not Welsh music or a deep dive, I just really like their new song.

Much like newsletters I subscribe to far too many podcasts. These are just two that I’m focusing on catching up with at the moment.

99% Invisible – It’s a podcast about the design of those things that you probably never thought required too much designing; warning signs, flags, fire escapes, I really enjoy listening to the smooth tones of Roman Mars. One of my favourite episodes is titled Game Over and looks at what happened in the run up to the end of Sims Online.

Welsh History PodcastWelsh education is so poor we don’t even learn about our own history. But this podcast does a superb job and hearing Canadian Johnathan Williams pronounce certain Welsh worlds is amusing.

Well, I’m done. Hope you enjoy the links, feel free to share anything you think I should check out and I see you next Dydd Llun.

Brave heart, dear friends and don’t let the bastards grind you down.

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