The plural use of “advancements” seems quite new. I’ve been seeing it a lot where I’d once have expected “advances”, as in “technological advance{ment}s”. I like the singular, as in Arthur Hugh Clough:

Honour thy parents; that is, all
From whom advancement may befall:

Lithium-ion batteries are believed to have been responsible for at least 250 fires at recycling and waste facilities across the UK in the year to March 2020. These fires represented more than a third of all fires reported …

Don’t throw batteries out with general waste.

I just posted Writers on writing. A list of pieces/posts etc. available to read on the web in which writers discuss aspects of the craft, process or experience of writing ✏️

I’ve been wanting to order some books (from, for example, Kennys.ie) for several months now but I was holding off until I had a more-or-less permanent address to have them sent to. And now I have. My first order is Lisa Lutz, The Swallows 📖

Having stayed in cheapish hotels for the past 13 weeks (mostly in France) I’ve finally found somewhere to live for the next year. It’s in the bleak far west of Ireland (Newport on Clew Bay) and the rent’s 150% of what I thought was my absolute maximum budget … but I’m so pleased.

The Sunna Gunnlaugs trio was supposed to be playing live in Poland today (I think it’s today) but is streaming from Iceland, where they live, instead. I don’t have sufficient broadband to watch a streamed concert but don’t let that stop you. (Sorry, it’s Facebook) 🎶 🎹

My favourite coffee in France was Lavazza’s Il Perfetto Espresso, but I found some very acceptable cheaper alternatives, including Lidl’s Bellarom E[sx]presso. I wondered why I had never tried it in Ireland. Now I know why: they don’t sell it here ☹️ ☕️

Richard Williams on The news from Keith Jarrett 🎶 🎹

Keith Jarrett is unlikely to perform again, after two strokes in 2018 left him unable to use his left hand. This is very sad for him personally, but we have the consolation of knowing that he recorded a lot of great music 🎹 🎶

From Melville House Press’s Moby blog: Booksta-what? I can’t see the appeal myself. I’m obviously not going to use a Facebook product, but I did try out the similar Litsy (now part of Library Thing) a couple of years ago. It didn’t stick.

Jonathan Carroll, Moving day in your head: what it’s like to start writing a new book.

”fast, strong, cheap and impossible to use”

That (according to the New Yorker) is graphene, no. 6 on a list of Technologies that are just about to solve big problems but probably won’t ever work, via Charles Arhur’s The Overspill blog.

I’ve just posted “Short stories on the web”, a list of short stories (not by me!) that I recommend and that can be read online. I previously maintained this list as a Mix collection and a Pinterest board. Now it’s a regular web page.

I must say I like the new customizable profiles on Medium and the redesign generally, particularly the fonts. Finally, I can use a sans font for body text. It’s probably not enough to lure me back to posting there regularly and paying a sub, but if it had come 2 years ago maybe.

Emily Hughes, A definitive ranking of Tana French novels, on Electric Literature

I just tripped over the USB-C cable that is charging my MacBook Air … and I’m delighted to discover that it actually works better than the old MagSafe, with which I had an unfortunate experience 12 years ago. This time, the cable just cleanly pulled out of the wall plug 😎

It’s time we treat Facebook for what it is: A media company, subject to the norms, responsibilities, and behaviors we all expect and demand from our media providers.

John Battelle, Facebook is finally admitting it’s a publisher

Something weird is happening with Google

I start to type a search term, Google does its autocomplete thing and (as usual) suggests a phrase completely different from the one I want to search for. I continue typing the term in full and hit return. I get “Safari can’t open the page … because the server where this page is located isn’t responding”. So, I immediately refresh the page and I get the search results I was looking for. I wonder if slow hotel wifi might have something to do with it, but I haven’t noticed anything similar happening with any sites other than Google. It’s really annoying.

Till I watched Stana Katic (“Castle”) apparently speaking precise, formal French aimed primarily at intelligibilty (on French tv, version française), I hadn’t noticed how much her movements and poses suggest a model rather than a homicide detective 📺

The reference to keg beer as “weasel piss” was one of the things that jogged my memory about “Country”. When I saw the 📺 play I hadn’t yet tasted English beer (that would take another 6 years) but I now think the impression it made on me must have influenced my preferences 🍻

I turned over to BBC4 last night and caught the last 10 minutes of a play that I recognized as “Country” by Trevor Griffiths. I’d seen it (for the only time) when originally broadcast 39 years ago, so for once I was pleased with my memory. I’d forgotten that Leo McKern was in it.

My wife and I both had coronavirus and we were lucky to get it early. I have asthma and so I was quite worried about it. My wife got it from her book group … They were discussing a Brontë novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Interview with John Lanchester 📖

A new post by me: Anxiety after all. I think I may be experiencing a generalized (I call it unspecific) anxiety, in which anxious feelings survive and persist even though (because of SDAM) I can no longer vividly recall the circumstances that caused them.

Because I studied and briefly taught poetry in a university, I habitually think of poetry as something to be interpreted, described, criticized and commented upon. I don’t want to abandon this approach entirely but I should learn to take (sometimes extended) breaks from it.

I just revived (briefly) my Mix account, which I’d deactivated in Dec 2019. Not only have I retained most of my followers through 10 months of inactivity — nobody’s paying attention? — but I’ve also become a “verified curator” with a blue badge. Almost makes me want to stay.