Happy New Year everyone, here we go again.
If you have a resolution that involves less doomscrolling can I recommend Favejet? It’s the best way to read twitter. It’s just stuff that people you follow (and you can filter people in and out) have favourited on twitter. You get the cute animals, links to interesting new things and bons mots and aperçu but without the appalling torrents of bile.
The best celebrity interview moment. That’s how to be interviewed. A phenomenon I’m increasingly thinking of as ‘Ted Lasso in the real world’.
Like a typical arrogant teenager I used to mock my Mum for her habit of reading out the signs that we passed in the car. Now, of course, I do it myself and justify it to myself as a battle against receding:
If you drive past horses and don't say horses
you're a psychopath. If you see an airplane
but don't point it out. A rainbow,
a cardinal, a butterfly. If you don't
whisper-shout albino squirrel! Deer!
Red fox! If you hear a woodpecker
and don't shush everyone around you
into silence. If you find an unbroken
sand dollar in a tide pool. If you see
a dorsal fin breaking the water.
If you see the moon and don't say
oh my god look at the moon. If you smell
smoke and don't search for fire.
If you feel yourself receding, receding,
and don't tell anyone until you're gone.
—Maggie Smith, "Poem Beginning With a Retweet"
(via Laura Olin)
I've never really liked saxophone solos. Too needy, too self-satisfied, too piercing. This can make jazz problematic. I think of the trombone as the opposite of that. Warm, approachable, human. Melba Liston and her ‘Bones is a great jazz trombone album. Or, if you’re about to do some yoga, why not consider a trombone accompaniment. Trombones of Lithia from Crystals: New Music for Relaxation #2 is 20 minutes of blissed out trombone balm.
Hadley Freeman interviewed Philippa Perry. It starts like this:
“When Philippa Perry finished, after several years of writing and a lifetime of research, the first draft of her book about improving relationships between parents and children, she sent it to her editor – and their relationship promptly collapsed.
“She felt really told off by the book. She has teenagers and, of course, sometimes she would tell them: ‘Get out of bed, you lazy sods!’ So what I wrote went straight into her heart,” says Perry, who very much does not advocate calling one’s children “lazy sods”. This must have been painful for you to hear, I say. “Actually, it was amazing feedback,” she replies with the good cheer of a psychotherapist who firmly believes painful moments can beget productive solutions. “I realised that my own anger towards my parents had leaked out into the book. So I rewrote it and it’s a better book.” And how do matters stand with her editor? “Relationships are often about rupture and repair, and we have very much repaired.”
‘Rupture and repair’ feels like a useful thought. Going to try more repair this year.
(There are 646 of you. ISO 646 is the ISO's standard for international 7-bit variants of ASCII. ISO is the International Organization for Standardization, which is the best generic/sinister name. They have an appropriate logo.)