De-tex

Picture the scene: It’s bedtime and I’m sat on the edge of my bed in my silk pyjamas*. I take off my watch and place it on the charger so it’s ready for tomorrow. I turn on my bedside lamp, pick up my phone and turn off all the lights in my living room and hallway. I then have a choice; take a 10-15 minute detour through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), or pick up the cable lying on the bedside table, plug my phone in to charge overnight and go to sleep. Sound familiar? Which do you choose? Most nights I opt for the ‘quick check’ on social media, and most nights it becomes 20 mins, or 30 mins, …

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Weekend Reading

Google Home vs Alexa A year ago, my boyfriend got an Amazon Echo. I remember first using the product, dazzled at its ability to process requests from across the room. Alexa, play us some music. As the year progressed, the wow factor faded quickly. Going to be an interesting space to watch… er… listen to. How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind Since the election, a lot of people not previously involved in activism have jumped in with both feet. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have been inundated with donations, mostly from first-time givers. US focused but still valid in the current climate Hackers downloaded US government climate data and stored it on European servers as Trump was being inaugurated …

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Time to move

Recently a friend posted something on Facebook, one of those text based images that shows a well known phrase with a witty rejoinder. This one was about lemons. I have been renting for the past several years, ever since my divorce. It’s a nice flat, spacious, in a good location, off-street parking, secure entrance blah blah blah. When I first took it on the rent was a little more than I’d planned but it was way better than the other tiny boxes I’d seen, the heart rules the head after all. The flat was in need of some upkeep then and still is now. The fittings are all original from when the flats were built around 17 years ago and, …

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The Teddy Bear

As they round the corner the pier reaches out in to the early evening gloom before them, colourful lights glow and flash, calling them forward; a magical wonderland of pulsing stars, glistening in the dusk. As they get closer the noise starts to build, the cheery organ music from the older stalls tinkles along over an electronic bass thump as the fairground evolves, new exciting rides sitting alongside tradition, wooden horses merrily going round and round whilst spaceships swoop and spin overhead. Laughter and screams, shrieks and shouts punctuate the thinning air. They wander past the outer stalls, smiling as they are beckoned in for a quick game, an easy game of skill. Come on Sir, you look like you …

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Weekend Reading

When You Name Your Fictional War Criminal After a Real Man By Accident When the name of my novel’s antihero popped up in my inbox one afternoon, I didn’t even pause for thought. I had just spent six long years with the man. Why wouldn’t he be emailing me? Even as I read the first few lines, I had no doubt this was my character writing to me. I get emails from fictional characters all the time. Mostly from Nigerian Princes. 10 Simple Ways to Help You Say No It’s important to say no so we can create more time to engage in what matters most. Even though we may feel bad or worried about saying no, it’s still important, …

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Sliding

My breath fogs the air as walk across the car park. I dare not look back. I take the car key from my pocket. A push of a button and hazard lights blink their location. I get in and start the engine, listening to it purr and tick as I apply buckle to clasp and turn the heating up. Sitting in the car, the world diluted by crystals, a cold distance to be savoured before the wounds open and the truth starts to flow. It’s colder than I realised and without realising I’m rubbing my hands to warm them, enjoying the building friction of skin on skin, flashback to hands grabbing my arm. I close my eyes for a moment, …

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Evernote 8.0

I ditched Evernote last year as it was bloated and new features were few and far between (unless you were using it in a business environment). The new version is a redesign and returns Evernote to what it was good at, holding and categorising rich data notes. Unfortunately the iOS app is still a bit odd. I like the newly focused landing screen, but I’m not sure why Search deserves two ways to access it on such a small screen (at the top of the screen or at the bottom where it gets an entire tab to itself). It also has a few oddities – try editing the list of shortcuts – which are likely bugs. These two are enough …

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My home is a mess

The coffee machine has burbled into life, the aroma wafts temptingly from the kitchen. In the bedroom my sleep monitor suggests I need to wake up in the next ten minutes and the daylight bulb in the lamp starts to glow into life. A few minutes later a gentle birdsong lulls me from my slumber, followed by the tinkling of the alarm that officially signals the start of the day. Get up, sleepyhead. It’s a cold morning but thankfully the heating has been on for a few minutes to be at just the temperature I like so I don’t have the shock of the cold morning air to deal with. I tell the alarm to stop, get up and walk …

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Happy 1st Birthday

Dear Lucy, I can’t quite believe it’s been a year since your Mummy phoned me and asked if I could hear anything in the background, and there was the sound of you crying as gently as the new-born you were. I’ll happily admit to tearing up at the news (get used to that by the way, I’m a big pile of mush where you are concerned) and all my visits in the first few months were full of awe and wonder, cradling this tiny little person in my arms, this beautiful little girl who grabbed my heart the minute I saw her. The first photo I have of you and me in the hospital (yes, I got a t-shirt made …

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Weekend Reading

I wore men’s clothes for a month – and it changed my life It’s 9am and I’m having breakfast at the House of Commons. I’m wearing a three-piece pinstriped suit, matching tie and pocket square, and the confidence of a mediocre white man. To my left, a man is pouring me coffee; to my right, another is listening respectfully. How did I get here? This is my – if you only read one post, read this one – entry this week. Five Documentaries Worth Watching — Tools and Toys Rather than make a super-extensive list of my all-time favorite ones, I figured I’d put together a short list of documentaries from recent years that I heartily recommend. Enjoy! Warning: This …

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