The latest rain delay in New York allowed me to get the washing in before it started bucketing down here. I probably would have left it otherwise ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ˜…

    Iโ€™ve entered a print exchange happening later in the year. Itโ€™ll be the first time I send my prints out into the world, other than to family and friends. Ideas have been bubbling for a while and today I did a rough sketch for the design.

    Coloured pencil sketch on paper. A stand of trees against a blue sky is reflected in a large puddle covering a field.

    Spent a week in the Netherlands and now a good portion of the ads that top and tail my podcasts are in Dutch ๐Ÿ˜

    Finished reading: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ๐Ÿ“š

    Iโ€™d been avoiding reading this. Why? I stubbornly dig my heels in when people tell me I should do something. But, I finally picked it up to take on holiday and it was just what I needed. It took me entirely by surprise. And I loved it!

    Finished reading: Bessie Smith by Jackie Kay ๐Ÿ“š

    Back from holiday and determined to do more with the photos Iโ€™ve taken (other than posting them here and then letting them languish in my photo library). Any recommendations for printing photo books in the UK? ๐Ÿ“ธ

    Iโ€™m visiting the Netherlands soon and would welcome recommendations for places to eat/drink and visit (beyond the obvious tourist stuff) in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Delft and Utrecht ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ

    Finished reading: Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers ๐Ÿ“š

    I have no idea what possessed me to read this. While the mystery element interested me at first, the lazy stereotyping and abrupt ending made the whole experience supremely disappointing.

    Grey and damp here today so I keep returning to this lovely pic from the garden yesterday

    White blossom in foreground with glimpses of blue sky behind.

    Had a tiring week so I was going to spend the day on the sofa in my pjs. Then my buddy invited me over to mow the grass at their new place. Turns out pushing a lawn mower is my happy place โ˜บ๏ธ

    Finished reading: The Devotion Of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino ๐Ÿ“š

    A good spin on the classic detective story. Recommended in book group at work. Iโ€™ll definitely look out for more in this series.

    Got lucky with our tickets for the snooker. Appears (if Iโ€™ve interpreted the order of play correctly) that weโ€™ll be watching local boy Gary Wilson vs former World Champion Stuart Bingham ๐Ÿคฉ

    Just spent an hour thinking about and then practicing how I write my name. Howโ€™s your day going?

    Crocs. With heels. I have now seen it all ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

    Finished reading: Prophet Song by Paul Lynch ๐Ÿ“š

    Brutal. The atmosphere the author creates had me on edge throughout. I think it benefitted from reading over a short period in a few big chunks.

    There was a point where I had to put it down for a while and give myself space to sit with what had happened. I doubt that will be a feeling I forget any time soon.

    Totally get why this won the Booker.

    Never seen the Tyne so high. Left work today to find parts of the path along the Quayside on the Newcastle side of the Swing Bridge blocked off by flood defences ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    View of the Tyne running high under the Millennium Bridge.

    Part of building better creative habits is making sharing easier. Now that I can post here directly from Feedbin and Keep letโ€™s see what happensโ€ฆ

    I picked up Issue 12 of Own Your Web at just the right time. This week’s focus for me is establishing a rhythm for my creative practice, whether that’s writing, sketching or printing.

    Currently reading: Prophet Song by Paul Lynch ๐Ÿ“š

    Oof, this packs a punch. Only ~100 pages in but I can already see why it won the Booker.

    This comma butterfly was out making a point today, hanging out on a local wildlife sign that only told us to look out for peacocks and tortoiseshells

    Comma butterfly with wings closed sitting on an info sign. Words visible are โ€œFlutter byโ€.

    Finished reading: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke ๐Ÿ“š

    Excellent. A complex narrative balanced by an easy style made this a pleasure to read.

    “The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

    A warning from Mary Oliver.

    I’ve just deleted my recurring ‘Publish weeknote’ task from Todoist. Every week it’s been slipping and it’s time to admit that frequency doesn’t work for me. I think I’ll try monthly updates for a while and see if that’s sustainable.

    A well balanced Sunday

    • reading in bed with dog on lap
    • creating a master meal plan to make weekly planning and shopping easier
    • virtual games (junior Catan) with nephews
    • Liverpool vs City
    • roast chicken dinner

    Finished reading: Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler ๐Ÿ“š

    I wasnโ€™t as engaged with this book as I was with the first in the series. The telling of the story felt disjointed. However Iโ€™m pleased to have seen how Laurenโ€™s story unfolded.

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