Monday, February 08, 2021


 Shwmae from the banks of the river Lleidi!

I didn't intend to leave it so long before blogging again, I’ve tried writing a new blog post about a dozen times throughout last year and the first weeks of this one but just could not think of what to say. I am so very tired.

At the time of writing this line I am sat wrapped in a blanket, it's -2 degrees outside and storm Darcy is coming to town. Friends have already started to post pictures of snow and I'll be honest I have snow envy. Llanelli is a tropical biome with warm air coming off the Gower estuary and basically being a kill joy! I keep checking my weather app like a gambler begging his bookie. "
22%! I've got two nieces, they want to sled! you gotta give me better odds on snow!" Usually February feels like a liminal time when you really sense the shift in seasons but it does not feel like that this year. But then time is an illusion and has been since March 2020. 

By Mythsntits -
Cerys and Nerys By mythsntits

So yeah 2020 was a thing, a whole year that both simultaneously lasted centuries and five minutes. Like that week between Xmas and New Year’s but stretched to infinity.  I pretty much spent up until September just cooking or playing in the garden that is my Veg Fort.

There was also an epic thunderstorm that I sat outside for the majority of in August. That was nice.

None of that was really worth blogging about and I really didn’t want this to become a weekly commentary on the horrors of the pandemic, there’s already plenty of that. So I plodded along like everyone else and I was thinking it was going to be a breeze, I’ve done long stretches of unemployment, I am trained for this. But then October rolled around and it was really hitting me. Not seeing friends, the knock on effects of trying to look for a job during a pandemic, gods help me I even miss going to the gym. I was climbing off the walls feeling anxious with a constant feeling of dread accompanied by a month long stretch of Insomnia. It was not nice.
Then two things happened. One – I got a stinking cold that made me sleep whether my stupid brain wanted to or not, which pretty much sent the insomnia packing (for now). And two – I went for a walk along the Mabinogion trial here in the People's Republic of Llanelli. It’s not much of a trail to be honest; it’s a path that winds through a hundred maybe hundred and fifty meters of trees.

In the summer it’s a really nice walk and when you get towards the centre of it you can almost pretend you are in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, there I am walking along feeling miserable. Beating myself up about nothing particular or within my power to change and I remembered this thing I had read about the ancient Greeks thinking their internal monologues were actually the voices of the gods. So there on the trail I start talking to myself. Or more specifically I start talking to my depression. And I take the piss out of it. I point out that Van Gogh’s depression made him cut an ear off. Mine? Gave me some sleepless nights that while uncomfortable did allow me to get through several books. I just kept pointing out all the ways the demon on my shoulder was crap at their job and should really feel ashamed. Then a woman out walking her dog came in to view while I was looking skyward and calling it a cunt and she looked terrified as she hurried passed me. And I burst out laughing because that demon wasn't even good enough to make me feel embarrassed by my little mental health snap. This didn’t magically make it all better but it definitely evaporated a chunk of the self-blame that depression loves to convince you is yours to own. I imagine I probably would have got the same result just shouting ‘FUCK’ very loudly.
So thanks to my demon roast I started to get organised a bit better. I go for an hour walk everyday which has really shown how much I need to get back to the gym. Giving a bit of attention to what I’m eating, I mostly did okay last year keeping off the weight that I’d lost but I wanted to add a few healthier bits, cut a few unhealthy bits out, nothing too grand.
Then focusing on job stuff I started a few CPD courses. I’m hoping that with all the contracting and shifting going on with non-profit comms jobs right now these courses will help keep my CV in the pile. I’m currently working through two CPD courses in HR Administration (very sexy) and Project Management. The HR stuff is purely because so many comms jobs in the third sector seem to be getting merged with really odd admin roles to save money. 
The Project Management course is just to help give context to a load of transferable skills I’ve picked up over the years, same as the Google Digital Marketing course I did last year.  I’m also working through a certificate in Digital Well-Being that’s been really interesting.
Doing these courses has given me some serious flashbacks to University. it's also made me realise how shot to shit my concentration is. So I've been utilising all and any tips to improve focus. I was looking at the Forest app as a possible tool. Basically the longer you go without looking at your phone a digital tree grows. Look at your phone and it dies! The aim is that eventually you grow a forest that represents how not distracted you were.
This month will also mean starting to do more in the Veg Fort so I’m checking my gardening excel sheets (shut up!) and planning what needs doing so that will keep me occupied. This year I'm thinking about turning the corner section of the Fort that is currently a storage area into a flower bed for plants and herbs that I can use to make my own tea. I've mentioned before that I want the Veg Fort to be as practical as possible, I'm not fussed on ornamental gardens, they're for rich people and scabs. Plus I really like the idea of growing my own tea.
I also would like to get back to blogging but I don't think it'll be on a weekly schedule. So for now - if it interests any of you - expect a monthly post. I may play around a bit, try to make these posts more of a curation of things that interest me. As the summer rolls in I'll probably post my Veg Fort updates here instead of Tumblr just because Tumblr has a limit on how many images that can be used in a post and that sucks. I'm stealing a trick from the author Robin Sloan and putting some art throughout this post so if my words bore you, you can just treat it like a mini digital gallery.
By mythsntits
Smoking Welsh Ladies By mythsntits

I may - and it's a big may given a certain global situation we're all dealing with - put up some posts from some walks I'm planning on doing. I’ve got this book called The Geology of Llanelli, it was published by my towns council in the 70’s and has no reason to exist but it does which is brilliant. And at the back the writer lists a series of walks covering what he considers to be the most interesting terrain of the town. I keep meaning to follow a few just to see how much has changed from when he wrote it but also to visit the outer edges of Llanelli which are far more rural and far enough from the centre that it’s often not thought of as Llanelli. Which sort of makes it seem more adventurous…In a when you’re a kid and you go camping in the back garden kind of way.
Okay. I'm going to call it quits there and go make a cuppa.
Brave heart, dear friends. Don't let the bastards grind you down.

Monday, March 09, 2020


Shwmae from the banks of the river Lleidi!

This will be a short post this week as I’ve had family visiting so haven’t really got up to much worth blogging about.

I’m currently blogging to you from a world in which toilet paper can only be obtained on the black market and we all greet each other with the Vulcan salute. These are interesting times.

Speaking of interesting times, I have spent the last week engaged in a war on Duolingo. After finding myself promoted to the Obsidian League I also found myself immediately in first place. For seven days and seven nights I did battle with all those who would steal my throne!

Luckily I prevailed and progressed to the Diamond League… Where I was immediately dropped to 45th place because the Diamond League is not a place for chancers like me. In the process of trying to keep my place at the top of the Obsidian League I had to add more languages to my Duolingo just to keep up with my rivals, so in addition to Welsh I’m learning Irish and Scots Gaelic. I love seeing the similarities between all three and despite my general ineptitude with languages I’m looking forward to learning more.

Staying with learning, I have taught myself to make peshwari naan bread. I used a yeast free recipe so they were really quick to make. I need to improve the coconut and almond mix that goes inside but they went really well with my prawn yellow curry.

The curry has just the right amount heat and has an oceans worth of prawns in it. I’m getting hungry now.

Continuing on with food, I recently went to a seed swap and got some Marande tomato seeds. Which was great timing as this week marks Solarpunk action week! It’s basically a week to do anything that makes your life a little more self-sufficient or environmentally friendly.

I’ve already planted my potatoes in the round tub, sowed some summer spinach and carrots as well as putting some leeks and the tomatoes in seed trays.

My other plans for Action Week include:
  • Finish building the insect hotel.
  • Finish painting the veg beds.
  • Put the first flowers into the troughs.
  • Get a sourdough starter going.
  • Give a bit of TLC to the plants that have been bunkered down in the cold frame.
  • Repot my Purple Beauty Pepper plants.
  • Research growing mushrooms.

Obviously some of this requires the weather to calm its tits. Which even for wales has been taking the piss lately. So here’s hoping.

Speaking of Wales I urge you to check out the app AM it brings together loads of Welsh cultural and creative content and I’ve really enjoyed looking through it. Here’s a link for the Google play store.

In other content related I’m sad to hear that The Magicians is ending after five seasons. I’ve never read the books but I really loved this show. Season one asked what would happen if teenagers went to magic school (Answer: they get high and have sex) then found a Narnia type land through a magic clock? The characters are really interesting and well represented with some excellent story arcs. And the musical episodes are always a solid A+. I’m going to miss it.

Okay I’m going to call it quits there. I’m hoping next week will be the second scriptwriting post with the next instalment of the Kingdom Cwm pilot.

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

Monday, March 02, 2020


Shwmae from the banks of the river Lleidi!

Storm Jorge has struck and once again Welsh communities are dealing with continued flooding as well as the potential risk of coal tips. So I’m again linking to Michael Sheen’s Go Fund Me which is raising money for those affected by the flooding. Please consider donating if you can.

Understandably the weather has featured in a lot of conversations this last week and almost every boomer I’ve talked to has mentioned dredging canals as a solution to the flooding. Now, obviously I am not an expert but I’ve called bollocks on this for three – I feel – painstakingly obvious reasons: the first – when the flooding is as severe as it has been then dredging is only going to mitigate the situation by a few inches. Which would mean nothing to the people worst affected. The second – dredging just makes it easier for the water to flow so all it will do is make things worse for whichever community is unfortunate enough to live further down. And the third – dredging is just going to lead to erosion of the banks, which I assume, would just make flooding worse. There are probably more reasons, but like I said I’m not an expert. My part solution (which has upset every boomer I’ve suggested it to) would be to look at the worst affected canals, fill them in and plant a load of trees on top. It’s not going to stop flooding overall but it would mitigate far more in certain areas than dredging would. So yeah, plant more fucking trees.

Sticking with the outdoors theme, I was – for about two hours – able to get out into the garden and start painting the veg beds.

Didn’t get to finish before the sun disappeared and the wind picked up. It’ll need finishing and a second coat but is going to look cool paired with the red bench I built.

My aim is that by summer the garden will be a riot of colour… or just a riot as I fend of vegetable thieves in the post-brexit coronavirus apocalypse world.

Speaking of coronavirus and the apocalypse, I have to admit that I do suffer from a slight case of doom prep anxiety. It’s a weird affliction to deal with. I think though it’s because I’ve never lived with any circumstances that have required emergency preparedness. I read tweets of people living in California who are prepped for wild fires, people that live in Northern countries that regularly deal with heavy snow and even people here in Wales that have to prepare for floods. They live with the need to be prepared. Plus I don’t think it helps when most of the people in my social circle don’t pay much attention to these kinds of goings on in the world so I kind of feel like Chicken Little declaring that the sky is falling when I mention considering how to be prepared for an emergency. Anyway, I’ll be building a bunker under garden as soon as it stops raining.

Backtracking, I put out a Tumblr post looking for Welsh Solarpunks and I think the majority of people that engaged with the post just liked the flag I put together.

To be fair, any flag with a dragon on is bound to be awesome. *cough* The Welsh flag is best *cough*

Speaking of amazing creatures, this is a very cool exploration of the ocean, all the way down to the very bottom. And I love how simple it is, just scroll.

Continuing with interesting things to look at, these two films from over a hundred years ago have been restored to 4K resolution at 60fps by a neural network AI. It’s really fascinating and I’d love to see the same process applied to more black and white movies.

Staying with tech developments, this is a teeny bit of a concern and it just reinforces why I wanted to start this blog. If I had the resources and ability I’d copy Robin Sloan and build my own social network something like Twitter but just for fifty people, no more. That fifty would likely be able to generate a large deal of information so I’d probably wipe all the posts every year and have a clean slate. I wouldn’t be surprised if that becomes more of a reality in future. Just like back in the day when creating your own message board was the thing, being able to create a small scale social network will be a thing, if it isn’t already.

So I’ve mentioned previously about creating a project that works with non-profits to develop their digital skills. I’ve been thinking a lot this week about approaches to R&D and project prototyping that would be useful for a non-profit.   Most don’t do any R&D which is really surprising, when I worked for a non-profit I spent just an hour a week researching other organisations and projects and writing short outlines of how they would work with our organisation. Then I’d pass these on to my manager and there would always be some sort of shock or confusion about why I was doing it. I always had to explain that it seemed an obvious part of my job.

So I’ve also been looking at Design Sprints; thinking about how particularly in organisations with volunteers who are passionate about a cause, you could in theory design sprint a project again with little to no cost to an organisation. It’s still all gestating in my head and every day I read something new that radically morphs how I think about all this. One of the interesting things to me is that the charity sector seems to be in a similar place to where the film industry was about twelve years ago. When you think about how franchises, particularly superhero franchises, have evolved to develop an audience and keep them interested in between films. The charity sector is now at this point where it’s figuring out how to build an audience, keep them interested in their work and when needed encourage donations. It’s fascinating but also a bit depressing seeing the lack lustre attempts to address it. But it’s been fun to research and work the problems into something that could – I hope – be useful. Honestly, if you’re a creative looking to do something different or more socially conscious, there is a creative deficit in the charity sector that is a smorgasbord of interesting challenges.

Okay I think I’m going to wrap this up, I’m writing this on Sunday night, I’ve just watched Doctor Who and all I will say it that was not good television, which is a shame because Jodie Whittaker is a brilliant Doctor. 

And lastly my newsletter count now down to: 175.

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

Monday, February 24, 2020


Shwmae from the banks of the river Lleidi!

Did you know the Blues Brothers have a cameo in Sister Act!?

It blew my mind when I found out. Imagine that potential shared universe. We have been cheated as a society by not having a Blues Brothers-Sister Act crossover movie!

Another fascinating thing I recently learned, not everyone has an internal monologue. I just cannot process how that works. As I’m typing this I can hear it in my head. How can these ‘others’ function? But the real surprise is that they don’t realise that some people have an actual inner voice. We’re all just farting around not realising that some people have actual voices in their heads and some just have visual concepts. It stunned me almost as much as the Cameo fact.

Sticking with learning new and vital information, you should absolutely mute these words on Twitter. You know all those annoying tweets that tell you who’s liking what tweet or who follows who? Muting the words on that list gets rid of all that. Now we just need to get rid of the Nazis on there. You can also use this app to disable retweets en masse. I’m half and half about doing it, I tend to use twitter for news gathering and connecting to subjects that are interesting to me. So some of the accounts I follow are mostly just retweeting. It would make an interesting experiment. Hmmm.

And just for shits and giggles here are some awesome facts about ravens.

While I’m just throwing links at you, check out the web comic Vattu by Evan Dham. I can’t remember how it came across my path but I’d planned to read a few pages every so often and work my way through it. I ended up burning through about 900 odd pages in a few hours of absolutely well spent reading.  I love the world building, it feels so much bigger and lived in than the narrative you’re following which makes you want to see more and designs for all the different races are brilliant and fascinating.

This is another week that seems to have flown by. I battened down the hatches for storm Dennis and basically hid in the kitchen all weekend, I made a massive batch of Jambalaya as well as two streak and mushroom pies. The gravy in the pies is a secret recipe that I’ve perfected over the last few years. The diced steak and chestnut mushrooms marinate in it for at least two hours. Then it’s all about the quality of the hot water crust, you have to work ninja quick before the dough can cool.

Pro tip: if you want the best hot water crust pastry add a vegetable stock cube and a splash of Worcester sauce to the hot water.  The perfect gravy you have to figure out on your own.

After Storm Dennis had done it’s think I was able to get out into the garden.

My poor bloody shallots. Between all the rain and the cat that I suspect is waging a war against me, they have had a hammering. I pray to the great shallot in the sky that they will recover.

I also seeded up some wild garlic and savoury. They’ll go in the troughs that run along the front of the veg beds, also seeded the first of the radish crop as well as some spring onions.

I just hope they survive the next wave of storms. And apparently there’s the possibility of snow in mis Mawrth a mis Ebrill

I’ve got some potatoes chitting on a window sill at the moment and I would like the correct weather to plant them in next month please. I'm going to try a bit of Keyhole gardening with them and see how that goes.

I’m currently hoping March has enough dry days so I can do something for Solarpunk Action Week. And just in case you’re wondering what Solarpunk is. There’s a solid Solarpunk community on Tumblr, it’s brilliantly positive and with tons of ideas and advice on sustainability and just being environmentally conscious. I like that it is grounded in the benefits of actions big and small, whether that’s just having an insect hotel in your garden or going full on urban farming.

Once the garden is fully operational I’m thinking about starting some kind of Solarpunk Cymru group, a little network for seed swapping, advice, etc. It just has to stop raining first.

Changing track to growth of a personal nature, the gym sessions are going really well. Still at thirty minutes cardio, thirty minutes strength training. I’ve upped the Kg I’m lifting and have managed to shed 3Kg which I think is about half a stone in old money. Which I’m happy with, that being said my weighing scales have a 3Kg margin so I could have lost anything 0.01Kg to 3Kg. Still, it’s progress.

Sticking with progress, I am now in the Pearl League on Duolingo. It was another stunning last minute fight, knocking some other poor sod back for another week.

As I’ve mentioned previously I have a backlog of newsletters that I’m working my way through, most of the links in this post were curated from some that I’ve read this week. I’ve managed to get the number down from 277 to 243.

Okay, I think I’m done for this week. Before I sign off, if you could check out Michael Sheen’s Go Fund Me raising money for those parts of Wales most effected by Storm Dennis and maybe consider making a donation that would be awesome.

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

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


Shwmae from the banks of the river Lleidi!

Sorry there wasn’t a post last week, I had a few family commitments and I tried writing one massive post about the pilot script so that I could just break that into four parts but it sort of got away from me. This last two weeks have gone really fast. Suspiciously fast, I suspect the interference of time travellers.

This last week I have mostly been doing job search related activities, editing my CV and master template cover letter to include my new Google certification as well as just to freshen it up a bit.

Sticking with the employment theme, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to setting something up. While in my last but one job I wrote a project proposal for a digital skills education project aimed at non-profits. It was well received but ultimately couldn’t find funding as most digital skills funding is aimed at either getting older people onto Facebook or helping people job search and access benefits online. What’s available for non-profits is extremely limited and usually requires them to pay, which they often can’t afford. So I took the proposal I wrote and stripped out about two thirds of it and reduced it down to a smaller project where I would mentor a few organisations for three months. Still working out details but I know first-hand that there’s a massive deficit when it comes to digital skills, particularly those more creative aspects relating to communications. It’s something I’m really interested in doing so I’m going to spend some of this week doing a bit more research. Maybe jot down a new proposal and see how it looks.

Elsewhen I managed to get a bit of gardening done before the storm moved in and made being outside of my warm bed horrific. But I managed to get a ton of weeding done. I’ve got some shallots and over-winter onions out there at the minute and they have taken a battering with all the rain this winter. They won’t get harvested until June/July so I’m hoping that if as the weather improves they’ll pick up.

Also spent some time doing a deep dive in my gardening spreadsheet – yes, I have a gardening spreadsheet, so what! – And checking what needs to be seeded this month. So far the list is: Spring onions, Sicily radishes, Wild Garlic and Savoury. I’ve also got some Habanero seeds that I need to find out when I can plant. This week will involve getting a few bags of soil and then sacrificing an assortment of soft meats to the gods for a few days of dry weather.

Going to the gym has been an on/off affair these last two weeks which has annoyed me but in my defence I pulled a muscle in my lower back. It started just before I started doing weights two weeks ago which I think just aggravated it, so I took a week to rest and do some stretching exercises. I’ve got back to the gym last week and so far so good. I’ve also improved my protein shake; it’s almost nice to drink now. I found that I was putting a wee bit too much cacao powder in which made it taste bitter, now I’ve reduced that it’s palatable, this has involved making my own oat milk. Yeah, that’s where I’m at in my life, unemployed and making oat milk. The concoction I’m currently working with:

  • 400ml Home-made oat milk.
  • 1 small teaspoon of cacao powder.
  • 1 tablespoon of plant protein powder.
  • 1 tablespoon of caramel coffee syrup.
  • 3 Stevia sweeteners.

Okay. That’s the personal update done now the scriptwriting bit.

So back in 2017 I wrote a pilot script called Kingdom Cwm (I do love my bilingual puns). You can get the first 15 pages here (well, 15 and a bit). I submitted it to the 2017/18 BBC Writer’s Room Drama but was unsuccessful. It’s intended to be a multilingual story primarily in Welsh but the script is in English. (Dw i’n llonydd dysgu Cymraeg araf iawn) It’s not quite the first draft but it isn’t the second draft. It’s probably Version 1.3 of the script.

I can’t quite remember the original log line I wrote for it, but it was something along the lines of: “Years after a series of natural disasters has turned the world upside down, a woman returns home to a coastal village looking for revenge.”

It’s short and to the point and I hope leaves someone with the kind of questions where they want to read the whole script.

So initially this started when I was thinking about how there aren’t really any Welsh language genre pieces about, when we have the perfect array of landscapes for so many types of stories. So I started churning through ideas that would be interesting, then I saw a photo on Instagram of someone on horseback somewhere in the North that looked like Cwm Idwal but it didn’t say. I immediately decided I should write a western set in Wales. Which initially might sound ridiculous, but as I brainstormed it very quickly evolved into a sort of post-disaster western. I still hadn’t settled on a story, I think I went through a good few: Family farm surviving post-disaster, bounty hunter, smugglers, post-disaster political drama, I even had a short outline for a story about a hospital on a train that travels the post-disaster country. I liked all of them but wasn’t 100% that any of them were strong enough to be an actual show. I can’t remember what sparked it but I thought a revenge story would work well. 

So now I had my story, which was pretty much just the log line above, I needed to figure out what happens. Usually when get to that bit I look at other similar stories while borrowing from Kurt Vonnegut and thinking about the shape of the story. I then use that as a kind of scaffolding for what I’m writing. In this case I pulled from the classic revenge story The Count of Monte Cristo.

I put together a list of the conflicts and obstacles for each character as well as thematically for the overall story. I’m really interested by the generational conflict in the story. This being seventeen years in the future all the middle aged characters are my generation of fringe millennials. And for the most part they’re the characters that are clinging to the past. And as we move on through the script, we’ll see they think that everything will go back to how it used to be but without actively doing anything about it. While younger generations lean into the world as we find it in the script. This wasn’t originally a conscious decision but one that evolved in the face of world events.

Then I broke the pilot story into three acts and each act into three further acts, trying to give each act its own shape while building the shape of the script as a whole.

And because this is intended to be a TV show I also had to balance taking add breaks into account against the need to tell a viewer what the story was within the first ten minutes. I say need; it’s a general rule of thumb that I found useful for this. It helped get to the point and keep the script as tight as possible. If you look at the script by the end of page ten (top of page eleven) you understand the world that the story is set in and what the protagonist’s “mission” is. Then by the last page, which would be around the fifteen minute mark, you get a clean cut with the end of the scene. Hopefully by that point you’re a little more curious to find out what happens and who the antagonists are.

I’ll probably keep coming back to this with each section I upload but I do worry that the script as a whole is too by the numbers, maybe that’s just me being paranoid. And as I said using the ten page rule and taking ad breaks into account for every fifteen minutes helped I think; with the pacing, with not letting scenes get too flabby. And I think for a pilot from a rookie, having a good story that’s structurally well told is probably best.

In terms of world building I didn’t want it to feel too Mad Max, maybe more rooted towards Children of Men territory. All the elements of the world we know are there but it’s crumbling and in the cracks people are finding ways to survive. I did some research by reading The Knowledge: How To Rebuild Our World After An Apocalypse by Lewis Dartnell. There’s some really interesting stuff about societal reasons for certain technological advancements, how events such as the World Wars led some to have to go through the process of rebuilding various technologies in response to limited resources as well as how cities would start to decay without enough people to maintain them.

Okay, so the characters. It’s only Eris and Meredith we really get to see in any significant way in these first few pages. I tried to make Eris very much in the mould of spaghetti western protagonists; intimidating, doesn’t say a lot, lethal. When I was putting together the outline for her character I wanted her to be as flawed as possible with a streak of hidden madness. Between the time she left the town and returns she’s gone through these horrific set of circumstances, all of which I wanted to leave as vague as possible to add to her mythology, and I liked the idea that Eris is essentially a villain with a justified vendetta. But also when her mask slips you see that she’s this sort of feral psychopath masquerading as human.

With Meredith I’m not 100% with her scene. It does its job of introducing Meredith and giving us some more exposition about the world but I think I can make it better. The original version of the scene was much longer and focused on Meredith’s inexperience as well as featuring a lot more exposition. When I was writing up the notes for Meredith she had the biggest transformative arc. I sort of saw her potentially as a mirror to Eris but not quite to the same extent. As Eris has been shaped by the brutal feudal world that’s emerged from the disasters, Meredith has been shaped by the remnant of the old world.

So regarding dialogue, it always takes me a good few passes to get it anywhere near alright. I really wish I could tackle dialogue with Sorkin-esque enthusiasm but the more I write, the more I become morally opposed to dialogue as a concept. Silent films from here on out I think.

The first few pages it’s all short one liners. Then we get to the Street Preacher and a lot of exposition gets quickly dumped. When I do the re-write I’m going to see if there’s a better way to achieve that. I thought it was better than newspapers or TV news reports laying out the world, plus I had a few potential uses for the character.

I quite like the exchange between Eris and Emyr.  I was worried that Emyrs waffling was me not tightening up his dialogue enough but after a few versions I felt like that’s part of his voice, it made him come across more as a good natured person, he doesn’t need to guard his intentions and verbally parry with everyone he meets.

Then with Meredith and Potter, as I said I’m not 100% on the whole scene. It does what I needed it to do. I also want to adjust some of the exposition elements so some parts are clearer, when they’re talking about the WDG and Lovell it all sounds very immediate, in a previous version there’s a bit more of a slow burn to it. If I keep the scene in the same setting then I want to get closer to that version.

With the last scene it I liked the idea of two people conversing in two different languages and both understanding each other, although I’ve just noticed that there’s a typo; I haven’t put a ‘Welsh’ parentheses on the Raid Leaders ‘We’ll be there’ line. Which kind of changes the tone a bit.  

Okay, I’m going to leave it there. Obviously with each part I post I’ll come back to and expand on a lot of this.

I hope you enjoy reading the script and as well as some of the lunatic thinking behind it. Let me know what you think and if you’re writing anything, how you approach it. I’m interested to know.

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

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.