This is the view from my kitchen window, beyond which the buddleja grows rampant.
It’s even more impressive if I tell you there’s a twelve foot drop from that window to the ground…
However, news comes from the housing association that the buddleja will have to go, because it threatens to damage the walls of the flat below mine. Somewhat like the broken pipework round the side of the building, then, which has been reported for over six months but is yet to be seen to. Priorities, eh?
I’ll miss the buddleja; when it comes up this high, I can pretend I actually have my own garden while I do the washing up.
Writing about music
First pieces from newly-recruited reviewer Duncan Harris went up yesterday and this morning… he’s shredded both his first assignments in high style, too. I think he’ll work out rather well! 🙂
Album of the week
Red of Tooth and Claw by Murder By Death. Released late March, but only crossed my desk the other week; very surprised I’d never heard of them before. Bluegrass meets Rat Pack meets rockabilly; very unique, very moody, very smooth.
Writing about books
The notes for the Snow Crash piece have reached a sort of critical mass, and I’m trying to remove unnecessary bulk in an effort to make it slightly shorter than the book it discusses. The focus will be on the ways in which it’s a failure as a piece of literature, and the ways in which those failures actually enabled its success as a geek touchstone.
Chuntering along; no major concrete developments that I can show you, but I can say that a certain writer who is probably very well known to regular readers of VCTB has just commissioned a project from me, which I’m very pleased to be working on.
More stuff lurks in the pipeline, also. Such is the way of things. I really must finish doing my accounts this weekend, too…
We’re nearing the end of the month, and now that the migration has settled down, it’s been interesting to look at the stats for Futurismic. For a start, we seem to have dropped some RSS users, but I suspect that has to do with an old duplicate route to the feed being cut off in the migration process, as the click-through/usage stats for the smaller subscriber figures are now much stronger.
We also had the StumbleUpon blizzard early in the month; the spike has settled, but we appear to have picked up a general increase in ambient click-through as a result. That spike means the ad earnings will be disproportionate this month (albeit in a rather pleasant way), but over time the values have trended upwards generally in the same way as the traffic, which is great news.
On a slightly less business-minded angle, Mac’s essay on the Grays brought the cranks crawling out of the woodwork…
Books and magazines seen
A few fantasy paperbacks and a vampire-shagger from Orbit, but nothing of note in the inbox to report this week. My Moleskines must still be in the bowels of the postal system. 🙁
My train tickets have arrived, and my hostel room is booked – I’m going to Berlin, baby! 😀
I’m formulating plans for doing things that I can turn into marketable magazine articles, as well… I rather like the idea of taking a holiday and earning some of its cost back in the process! I hear that Berlin has a lively squat gig scene, for example, and that a friend of mine has an email address for a promoter in the area… 🙂
An overcast morning has given way to a clear hot afternoon; from the street comes the sound of cheerful small children being herded toward the seafront. I am choosing to take these things as omens of good things to come over the weekend. Not that I believe in omens, but, y’know. If I did.
No, there’s only room for one irrational ritual in my life… and that is the ritual whose genuflections and obeisances I must now begin, in order to receive the bounteous blessings conferred by the gastronomic benediction of The Friday Curry.
Have a good weekend yourselves, whatever you choose to get up to. Hasta luego, amigos!
[ 1 – It’s much easier to tell a PR that you gave an album a kicking if you can blame it on one of your staff. I now realise why I used to get sent so much dreck by some of my former editors. That’s not the only reason I hired Duncan, though. ]
[ 2 – They really are the same things, too, as far as I can tell. ]
[ 3 – I had to do some horrible things in a legacy .htaccess file thanks to restrictions on the new host. Horrible things, I tell ya. Still having nightmares now. ]
[ 4 – Yeah, I’ve bought into the hype. I can’t find anyone with a bad thing to say about using Moleskines, and I know for a fact I’m tired of using crappy W H Smiths ringbound notebooks for my scribbling. You get what you pay for, or so the saying goes – I plan to put the saying to the test. ]
[ 5 – No, the other sort of squat. Now go and wash your filthy mind. ]