Here's what I've been up to since the start of 2019.
I made a physical version of ONEYEARCLOCK – the clock with a single hand that takes 365 days to complete a revolution.
I'm thinking of creating a few more physical versions of the clock so that you have the chance to hang one on your wall.The final price will depend on how many other good people do the same thing, but I’ll keep you updated.
As a reminder, I wrote about how the original (digital) ONEYEARCLOCK was made back in 2018. Click here to read it.
In other news, I paid a visit to Gloucester Cathedral last weekend. They have pretty sounding bells and there was even a choir inside.
I'm not a religious person but places like that always make me feel like I should be on my best behaviour. Also, bloody fire hazard! You seen the amount of candles they've got around the place?
What I've been reading:
Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport came out last week. He's the author of a few titles you might have heard of including Deep Work and So Good They Can't Ignore You.
Digital Minimalism isn't about flushing your iPhone down the toilet (although I think we've all had moments like that). It’s instead about how to use things like Twitter and email without letting them use you. It's a read I recommend if you, like me, catch yourself staring at your phone at 1 a.m. instead of sleeping.
I sunk my teeth into Against Creativity by Oli Mould towards the start of the year, along with The Conference of The Birds by Farrid Attar. The latter is an epic poem translated from Arabic, a bit 'woo-woo' but very good.
What I've been listening to:
Since we last spoke, loads of new music has come out. Here's a small list of everything I'm jamming to at the moment, in no particular order...
Russell Brand's podcast, Under The Skin, is a good listen. Recent guests include Fearne Cotton and Jon Ronson.
Jon Ronson was on Under The Skin to chat about his latest podcast, The Last Days of August. It’s currently hidden behind Audible's paywall but comes out in a few months. The Last Days of August focuses on the uncomfortable truths and the lives of people in the porn industry. It's a follow-on from his previous pod, The Butterfly Effect.
As well as music and podcasts, I've been listening to Monocle 24, the radio station from the magazine of the same name. The magazine is very self-aggrandising but I find the radio station to be fresh and accessible – think BBC Radio 4's Today programme with less of a grumpy-commuter vibe. Monocle 24's schedule consists of world music, Monocle's 15-or-so podcasts, and four live news shows per weekday.
The Monocle Café, near Baker Street in London, is very nice. They also have one near Paddington too, albeit it under a different name. Now there's a brand that properly nails cross-platform! If you go, get a Chicken Katsu sandwich.
What I've been liking:
I don't accept money or free stuff for these mentions (or anything else in this newsletter, for that matter). These are just some great people, companies, and organisations doing things that I appreciate. I'm sharing them with you in the hopes you can find some value in them too.
I upgraded my iPhone to the new XR and then promptly got an Apple Smart Case for it. The XR has the largest battery life of any iPhone and with the Smart Case on it, I'm now rocking two days of use off a single charge. You also get to tell people your battery is on 130%, which is funny.
Actions and Timepage from Moleskine are separate apps that work together to help organise your life. One's a calendar, the other is a to-do list. They're beautifully designed and using this combination I've managed to go almost-paperless at work. Subscriptions start at £11 per year per application.
Aesop's an Australian skin-care brand. Think Lush with a customer-base 40 years older. Their stores are serene and the staff in Aesop are insanely helpful. One guy in the Lamb's Conduit Street store helped me track down what the trace smell was on a bag they gave me two weeks prior. After thirty-minutes of detective work, we figured it was Hwyl, a perfume I now wear daily.
Finally, after years of wearing smart-watches (Fitbit Alta, Charge HR, and Versa), I ditched them for a Slow Round 12. Wearing the watch has given me a greater consciousness of the time in my day. I don't need the fitness data with Apple Health in my pocket. I still subconsciously lift my wrist and tap the watch-face every now and then, though.
My monthly newsletter is a summary of what I've been reading, writing, listening to and enjoying. Get it on the first Sunday of each month.