Weeknote, Sunday 28th May 2023

Bank holiday! Another one! Yay!

On Friday we went over to Margate to see The Chimera Function, a performance lecture by artist and researched Lo Lo No which involved quite a bit of cutup spoken word stuff. I had never been to the Tom Thumb Theatre before and loved it – the work was pretty interesting, and if you’re interested in experimental spoken-word stuff I would recommend seeing it if you get the chance.

Saturday night I was doing my own spoken word piece at the Free Range open mic night. My work isn’t experimental: I just like telling stories. And as part of it I told my own story, or rather the story of how I didn’t write any stories for over 40 years and finally started when I decided that was really silly.

After that we went along to our friend Edward’s birthday drink, then headed home via a really rather large Five Guys burger (grilled cheese for me, of course). Memo to self: you really don’t need to have even the medium fries. Small is more than enough.

Today was my fortnightly writing group, but I ended up only being able to stay for an hour because I planned to meet up with Kim and head over to Herne Bay to collect her mobile phone (she had left it on the bus on Saturday night, and I needed to be with her to find the bus station where it had been left after being found).

I also took delivery of a new monitor. A couple of months ago I moved the Mac mini and my old monitor out of my study to give myself more desk space, so have been using my laptop on its own. It hasn’t quite worked: although it was nice to have such an open and uncluttered desk, leaning over a laptop doesn’t suit my body, and propping it up on a stand just means I end up peering into the 13in screen from a distance which isn’t great for my eyes.

The new monitor is a Dell S2722QC USB-C 27in 4K thing, which is similar to the ones we use in the office. It’s good – not only does having USB-C mean that I can connect and charge my laptop on it. But Dell’s stands allow me to move the monitor up and down which my old LG couldn’t. So no more having a monitor on top of a stand which isn’t quite the right height.

I didn’t realise how much the details of the environment that I work in made a difference to how I feel about working. Things like having a decent keyboard, a screen that’s the right size and height, and all the other things make a big difference not only on things like my posture and my back but also in how producing and creative I feel. It sounds stupid, but it’s true.

Things I have been writing

At today’s writing group I only had about half an hour so dived in and wrote a short piece of micro-fiction which I’m quite happy with – so I will be publishing that on the writing blog at some point soon.

Things I have been reading

I have been continuing on with Temereire, which is a fun and easy read. This week also saw the arrival of M John Harrison’s Wish I was here too, which is a sort-of biography from my absolute favourite author. I’m looking forward to diving into that.

Ian Betteridge @ianbetteridge