“There are many ways in which the thing I am trying in vain to say may be tried in vain to be said”

Lara Marlowe on the affinity between Beckett and Giacometti.

Legislation will be introduced, the Queen said last week, to “restore the balance of power between the executive, legislature and the courts”.

Joshua Rozenberg, A Lawyer Writes. So we can expect Parliament to get more power, at the expense of the government? Good, long overdue.

Whoever designed the sardine tin, with its thin, springy metal top that practically guarantees you’ll either slice your hand or spray ketchup/oil on yourself, was a (malevolent) genius. (I probably said this before but it was some time ago: I don’t eat sardines that often.)

I’ve been trying out the new “blogroll” feature on Substack. I think it makes the page look too cramped, so I’ll probably remove it and put my list of recommended newsletters on a separate page somewhere instead.

It seems that I only ever mention Lawrence Lessig when I write “I don’t usually agree with Lessig, but …”. Here he is On the issues with free speech

Well, I read An Anonymous Girl to the end. It got better in the second half and the plot was quite well handled, though utterly daft. I didn’t believe a word of it. Not recommended 📚

What’s this about Martial Solal hanging up his piano stool? I went to a trio concert of his in Aix-en-Provence in (approx) 2013 that was billed as part of his final tour. Did he fail to stay retired?

I wish I could get the MacBook Air and iPad to connect to the iPhone’s personal hotspot automatically. Every time I wake one of them from sleep, I have to go through a ritual dance to get them back online. I never had this problem with previous phone hotspots (Nokia/Microsoft)

I’m a third of the way through An Anonymous Girl📚 by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen and I’m thinking about giving up. Its premise is extremely contrived; insubstantial characters, unexciting writing. I started it only because the library had the ebook with no waiting list.

I swear, if Twitter keeps nagging me to turn on notifications I will delete my account again 😡

Here’s more about Substack’s acquisition of People & Company, from one of the latter’s founders.

Substack announces that it has acquired People & Company, an organization specializing in “community building”. I don’t know exactly what this means, but I’d like to find out.

I’ve just sent out the latest (by my count the 13th) issue of my Talk about books newsletter. The title is “Morally neutral at best: Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends”. Next issue, in 2 weeks, will be about William Empson’s interpretation of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus 📖

Tried again. Something is downloading this time: 5.69GB of software. Fingers crossed.

So, I plugged the iPhone into my MacBook Air and followed the steps to Restore. It says it’s downloading the software but I’m not convinced that anything is happening. There’s something that looks like a progress bar and it isn’t showing any progress.

Whenever you change the passcode on your iPhone, or set one up for the first time, the phone should force you to use it the first 5 or 6 times, before it allows you to unlock with Face or Fingerprint ID, so you remember the passcode 🤨

I haven’t read anything by Christopher Priest except The Prestige📚, — my review — and I read that only after (and because of) seeing Nolan’s film. I’d like to have come to it without preconceptions. I’m undecided whether to read any more of Priest’s fiction.

I tweaked the font colour on what I’ve now started to call “my static site” slightly. I know that some people were finding the yellow text too garish, so I’ve tried to make it less so. It’s difficult to avoid something that has a fancy name but it indistinguishable from white.

I posted yesterday about using my Medium profile with my own domain. I’m not sure, but at first glance it looks as if Medium’s RSS feeds might no longer include comments/responses. If so (fingers crossed), they’ll be a lot less noisy and more useful.

I had been slowly moving my old posts from Medium to artkavanagh.ie. But Medium has changed in the meantime. It now allows customization of themes and fonts, and also “custom” domains. So, I’ve changed my mind. In the next 2 days my Medium profile will become blog.artkavanagh.ie

Listening for (maybe) the first time since the first decade of this millennium to 🎹 Bill Evans’s album You Must Believe In Spring 🎶. Eddie Gomez’s bass sounds electric in places, which is a little off-putting. Still, lovely album, especially title track.

Enrico Pieranunzi has made so many great albums that I sometimes go for months without listening to some of my favourites e.g. Dream Dance (2010). Forgot how much I like “Castle of solitude” and “Nippono Ya-Oke” 🎹 🎶

One of the reasons I got a Nokia flip phone rather than a smartphone last year was that I had been missing T9. I hate using a QWERTY keyboard on a small screen. So, I just got a T9 keyboard app from the iOS store — and it’s much better than the hardware Nokia keyboard.

After 2 days with my first ever iPhone, I think it’s helping me to appreciate the iPad better: I’d stopped noticing how much I like the latter’s big screen and 4:3 aspect ratio. If I ever get another iPhone, it’ll probably be the one with the largest available screen.

I think Substack is down.