Hello friends, my name is Duncan and this is Hello From Duncan - a newsletter-shaped summary of my recent input and output, which I send every ten days or so. You're getting it because you signed up for it, most likely at buttondown.email/duncangeere.
You might wonder why I mention this every time I email you. It's because we all get a lot of email these days, and I don't want anyone, especially new subscribers, to be wondering "what the hell is this?". Just seems like a small kindness that's not much bother for me, and we all need a few more small kindnesses in our lives.
I’ve been living in Helsingborg now for a little almost three months, and over that time Denmark and Sweden have both relaxed their (already pretty lax) pandemic rules. So on the weekend, I crossed my first international border in about two years.
We took the ferry over to Helsingør, on the other side of the Öresund. The ride took just 20 minutes - it’s a distance of about 4km. It’s surprisingly different on the other side - Helsingør is a small seasidey kind of place, while Helsingborg is larger and much more industrial. There were a lot of medieval alleyways and exposed timber frames on the buildings. A lot of brickwork. I like a bit of brickwork. You don’t get so much in the way of exposed timber frames or brickwork in Sweden.
We didn’t do very much there. We walked around the town, trying (and largely failing) to follow a heritage route marked out with tiny blue circles on the pavement. We admired architect Bjarke Ingels’ work on the seafaring museum. We went to the (mostly deserted) dog beach, and Laika had a little paddle.
But it was nice to once again be in a place that felt distinctly culturally different, with people speaking an incomprehensible language (I can read written Danish fairly well, but spoken I’m lost). It was just the break I needed. And we were back home again by lunchtime.
I’m currently descending from a mountain of work. I told a lot of clients that I could help them out with projects in the autumn, and it turns out that they all meant the same two-week period. So I’ve had a lot to do.
Even after almost a decade of freelancing, I still find it difficult to queue up a constant, manageable-but-not-too-little, stream of work. My friend Will recommended I try out an app called Cushion, which appears to be exactly what I’m looking for. I’ll try it out and report back. Once I’ve finished off these last few bits of work…
Not a whole lot of new public-facing work to point you towards this time, but I did do the cover art for .blip’s new single, Jupiters V. It’s a chiptune-y, synthpop-y banger. You’ll like it. Give it a listen.
I liked this article by Ed Conway calling for the development of new maps of our society.
Back in the 1930s, in the face of a Great Depression, economists concluded that the world needed a new suite of statistics to help them understand the world. The result was gross domestic product and national accounts. Today, as the world faces a supply crisis that could tip millions into fuel poverty and obstruct the economic recovery, perhaps it’s time we had a similar conversation.
I also very much enjoyed Debbie Cameron’s article on gender stereotypes in the naming of dogs.
Whether or not we find them appealing, the male dog-names are a more inventive collection than their female counterparts—which is surprising, especially if you subscribe to the ‘dogs are the new children’ theory, because for children the pattern is that boys’ names are more conservative. We might expect dog-names in general to be less conservative than baby-names, because dog-namers have a degree of freedom that (responsible) baby-namers don’t: a dog isn’t going to be embarrassed by its name, or bullied by other dogs because of it. But that doesn’t explain why it’s specifically male dogs who get the more unusual names.
I am a Sam Anderson fan, and I like his latest NYT piece on artist/musician/everythinger Laurie Anderson as much as I like artist/musician/everythinger Laurie Anderson. Which is a lot.
Finally, give bldgblogger Geoff Manaugh’s new album of ambient music a listen. It’s a lovely collection of haunting snatches of distorted classical music.
That’s all for this time. Bit of a short newsletter, but that’s what happens when you’re work-mountaineering.
See you again in 10 days.