On Monday I had a call with Matt Webb—or a "Chatt Webb" as I hilariously called the event in my calendar—after speaking to him at dConstruct the other month. He writes one of my favourite blogs, and offers unoffice hours in which anyone can just book in a chat (which inspired me to do the same!) He was great fun to talk to and very generously offered me some very detailed advice–I have 3 pages of notes that I'm formulating a plan around. Thank you Matt! Everyone: reach out to the people whose work you like. They're probably lovely.
The rest of the day was quite stressful so we went to watch See How They Run, which was the perfect level of gentle, silly fun to take you out of it for an hour and a half. I don't imagine I'll ever see it again, but it was perfect for right then.
We went to NAMO for lunch on Tuesday as part of our half-hearted bid to get some of the Octoberbest offers. Time was I'd spot the deals going up early and book myself in a month of affordable meals at Brighton's finest eateries, but now I'm too old, too slow, too busy, have a girlfriend who is also busy, and they've cut it down to half a month. NAMO was cracking, though—the satay roti was simple and delightful, and the taohoo longsong was the perfect balance of flavours and the perfect amount to leave you just full enough.
On Tuesday evening we went to The Football—an England women's friendly game vs the Czech Republic. I've been to an England women's friendly at the Amex before, in June 2019, and it was way, way quieter; I'd be surprised if it a quarter of the seats were occupied. This time it was over 2/3rds full. Remarkable what winning a major international tournament does to your audience numbers. A good time was had by all, but getting home was a right pain and I was dog-tired when we got back.
This didn't set me up altogether well for my first-thing-in-the-morning driving lesson the next day, but I struggled through. Stalled the car for the first time (twice!) and panicked a bit while going down a hill, but otherwise a very successful outing. Think I'm starting to get the hang of things.
Wednesday evening was spent in the community space of some nearby flats for the Free University of Brighton's intro course. I realised a while back that I've not had any education in anything that isn't maths or science since I was 16, so I thought I'd give their 'freegree' humanities course a go. This was just an intro session and I had to leave early so I'll see what the next session's like. First impressions very positive, though.
Thursday evening we got our second Octoberbest outing in at Terre a Terre, which we love but haven't been to for over a year. Food was smashing, as ever, and we had plans for after which we decided to forego in favour of a rest. Sometimes it's better to give yourself a break.
By Friday I was feeling a little worn down, and I almost called off recording Memhaz, but I'm very glad I didn't; it was really cheering and invigorating, as it always is. Guess sometimes you get energy from doing things and sometimes from not doing things?
Last night I went to see Spike, on my own as I was unable to persuade CM of the merits of a play largely about one man's breakdown amid production disputes on a radio comedy show from the 1950s. I'm not sure how it would play to those without a prior connection to Milligan and the Goon Show, but I really enjoyed it, and I'm probably going to write more about it later.
I was walking down the street this morning and I saw a horse tethered to a gate right in the middle of the city (that's that picture at the top, visible on Google Maps here—it's sandwiched between a barber and a cafe). I asked a group of people sitting at an adjacent cafe table whether they'd seen whose horse it was; they pointed me to an older man in what looked like fluorescent cycling gear. I asked him whether he frequently brought his horse into town; he told me he was doing something up at the racecourse and he wanted to give the horse a bit of road time, so he'd brought him down the hill into the town centre. I thanked him for making my day a little better.