Notes for week of 2 January, 2023

→ The first real week back at work was pretty uneventful. Back into some freelance writing/editing and LiB into full swing again. I’m a little behind on commissioning for the newsletter after the break, so spent some time chasing up interviews and potential contributors this week. There were quite a few new subscribers over the holiday though - must have been a few people browsing Substack over their Celebrations and sherry I imagine.

→ My friend Matt opened a new shop this week. It’s a record shop/arcade/hangout up towards Finsbury park, so I will be venturing north of the wall next weekend to check it out.

→ Watched The Menu this week. It’s… Okay. Maybe I’m a little over ‘eat the rich’ dramas, but I just thought it wasn’t as clever or as funny as it thought it was being. Can’t fault Anya Taylor-Joy though.

→ Finished book one of the Slow Horses series. About 1/4 of the way through Mark Fishers extraordinary Ghosts of My Life.

→ Some interesting things I’ve read this week:

2023 might very well be the year I get a bit obsessed with Derek Jarman. I’ve already booked a long weekend away in Dungeness for later in the year, so I can finally see Prospect Cottage, and this week I chanced upon [this article from Prospect]( about Jarman’s only short story, which has just been published for the first time.

Robin Sloan’s newsletter is always a delight, but this week’s was especially great. I particularly liked the bit about Discovering Donegality. What Sloan says about William Gibson’s Blue Ant trilogy is absolutely bang on. I might have to put Planet Narnia on my reading list now. (any review that references Umberto Eco is like catnip to me)

I also read an old New Yorker article from 2012 by Tamar Adler, author of one of my favourite food books, An Everlasting Meal and this interview with Nigella Lawson from the Noble Rot magazine from 2018 (I got Cooking: Simply and Well, for One or Many by Jeremy Lee for Christmas, and it’s made me want to read more good food writing).

→ Listening to:

Syrager’s mixtape for Good Morning Tapes