To The Awkward Ones

Berlin_34

As a parting shot…

After a little over five years of near daily posting (yes, we took some breaks…) the ‘I Wrote This For You‘ blog has come to an end. At least for now. Maybe one day there will be new things to be said, or old things can be said again new ways, but for now it feels like enough.

Thanks to all for the support and encouragement.

Nightmare Nr. 6549771

With no warning i’m standing in a university exam room. The moderator is describing the exam procedures. The questions are lying on the desk in a black velvet folder, held shut with a silver clip. It occurs to me that i’ve not prepared for this exam and will not be able to answer any of the questions. It’s a pure mathematics exam, and i’m not studying mathematics. The moderator drones on, and a feel of dread builds, the only rule that makes it through to me is that it’s compulsory to stay for the first ten minutes. The exam starts. I open the velvet folder. There are three questions on the paper. None of them mean anything to me beyond a vague recognition of some terms. The ten minutes passes extremely slowly… and at some point i wake up sweating.

Yes, there have been stubborn issues at work recently.

Capital

51sXO-4SVNLMore John Lanchester (previously), this time fictional, and more specifically the book that he was promoting last year when he came to my attention.

I don’t tend to read much fiction, and have been mostly working my way through Lanchester’s essays on The London Review of Books. If you like doomish / düster writing you’ll probably enjoy his non-fiction work. Capital, on the other hand, has a far lighter touch, and really envoked the feeling of London for me.

London as a city has a very distinct feel. Even more so since my visits there have become increasingly infrequent. It may also be an indication of my change of circumstances, but the relationship is far from obvious. While living in Islington, studying in East London (between Mile End and Stepney Green – pretty salubrious surroundings…) and working out in the far North-West (Chesham, maybe not London proper but Bucks, Middx?) i never felt the degree of inequality that is so obvious in recent years. Yes, there have always been homeless, and there have always been old monied sorts running around Sloane Square, but somehow it wasn’t as glaringly front and centre as it feels now.

And, it’s not really giving anything away to say that is what Capital is about. Well worth the time to read, especially if you’ve any sort of connection with London over the last 25 years.

Sylvester Boom Boom Ahh!

It seemed like a good idea to stick the camera on a tripod and attempt to film a few minutes of the new year fireworks. The whole of the evening is punctuated with bangs and screeches, and whistles. However, a few minutes before midnight it really begins in earnest.

Unfortunately my video making skills are… lacking. It’s not in focus, the sound is terrible, and it needed to be shot at a lower ISO. All of which adds up to it not really reproducing the intensity of the experience. Next year, at a minimum, i’ll need to: get it in focus; shoot a few samples to check for noise; get a microphone with one of those furry hats to reduce the wind noise. I’d guess that an external microphone would actually make the biggest difference to how it works out. That and getting up on the roof… lets see how that goes (in a year)!

Edit: figured a little background music and a fade-out wouldn’t hurt. Just goes to show how wrong you can be! There is a copy of something called iMovie HD on my hard disk, presumably from back when Apple was giving such junk away – fuck knows they wouldn’t have been able to sell it… It got the job done, but it was, to say the least, a bit of a traumatic software experience. Presumably things have improved?