January In Review

The first in a monthly series, largely for my own benefit, of my own highlights from the past month. Lived Highlights My niece turned one and remains the most adorable, inquisitive little thing. Had two ‘Christmas’ nights out with friends (much laughter, good food and boozes) Finally got down to Kelvingrove to see the wonderful Alphonse Mucha exhibition. Started attending guided Meditation, once a week so far, but enjoying it. Also The lease on my current (rented) flat is due up and I’ve decided to move. Cue a massive clear out in preparation (I have entirely too much stuff). And yes, I am reading Marie Kondo’s book. Stepcount: 279,203. Read Highlight – The GraceKeepers by Kirsty Logan The first book …

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Weekend Reading

Dearest reader, I can confirm that this week, Weekend Reading is a Trump free zone. I dunno about you but I can’t handle any more of that, so I thought I’d avoid inflicting it on anyone else.* The Secret History of the First Cat in Space On October 18th, 1963, the Centre national d’études in France was set to send a small cat named Félix into space. After lagging behind its Soviet and American competitors, France was eager to stake its claim in the space race—with cats, for some reason. Can you imagine it? A cat, in a confined space with lots of blinking lights. CARNAGE! 6-Year-Old Girls Already Have Gendered Beliefs About Intelligence They’re more likely to avoid games …

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What’s your tipple?

Many people, myself included, like the taste of some alcoholic beverages but as alcohol comes in many guises learning which ones are good, and which ones are not, requires some trial and effort. Heads up – coconut tequila; just say no kids, just say no. I can remember my first alcoholic drink. A sip from a half bottle of vodka, purchased by an older friend (not that much older but he was taller), that we snuck in to drink during our duties minding the cloakroom as part of a Boys Brigade dance. I think. The details of why were there escape me, but that’s purely an indulgence of age and in no way related to consumption of said vodka. I …

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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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