I've had lots of deliveries this month including a RODE NT–USB microphone (I'm recording my podcast on it), beautiful coffee from Allpress, and a leather jacket that makes it look like I'm having a quarter-life-crisis courtesy of Allsaints. I've also replenished some of my favourites including perfumes Tacit and Marrakech Intense from Aesop, and Thread's 20% off sale led me to buy a second pair of Grenson sneakers; my current pair have served me for almost two-and-a-half years (and still have a long time to go) but I couldn't say no to a £40 discount...
In terms of food (eating tonnes of Mini Eggs doesn't count), Alvin Zhou's YouTube channel is filled with recipies that take an insane amount of time to prepare, from six-hour cheeseburgers to 100-hour brownies. I made the latter earlier this month and the wait was definitely worth it. I've also trialed Pasta Evangelists recently, the subscription model that delivers fresh pasta to your door. The Carbonara of Dreams certainly lives up to its name so keep checking their weekly menu and pick up a portion (or six – they freeze) when you get the chance. These chicken shashlik burritos with mango yoghurt are to die for – they remind me of the street-food stands down London's Leather Lane, around the corner from our pre-pandemic office.
As well as foodie YouTube channels, I've also been watching a few other things. WandaVision took an unexpected turn right after I sent my last update and news that LOST, Prison Break and a bunch more shows were coming to Disney+ was also welcome, even if I do already own all four seasons of Ugly Betty on Apple TV+. I've been watching that this month.
The waitlist for Apple's HomePod Mini is down to just three-days instead of its pre-Christmas three-months. It's a little dumber than Amazon's smartspeaker offering but as someone very invested in the Apple ecosystem, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. The ability to handoff between phone and speaker just by bringing one closer to the other is really nice.
A new speaker means I've been using it to listen to lots more things including Femi and Made Kuti's new Afrobeat double album, Legacy+ and less than a year after her debut solo album, Paramore's Hayley Williams has another collection of 14 songs titled Flowers for Vases / Descansos. As Arielle Gordon writes for Pitchfork:
If Petals for Armor [her first solo record] danced on the graves of her failed romances, Flowers for Vases revisits their tombstones with a mournful glance at what had been.
As for podcasts, I'm not sure Luminary would appreciate the way I game their subscription model, which is to take out a single month subscription, binge-listen to their paywalled podcasts, and then cancel. I've been listening to episodes of Russell Brand's Under The Skin that have been released since the last time I abused their payment model. In the non-paywalled world (let's call it open podcasting), Davina McCall's podcast Making The Cut is similar to these updates as is Noah Kalina and Adam Lisagor's All Consuming, and friend Bex Lindsay's launched her own podcast all about familiar but niche feelings called Getting Emotional. I sat in on the first episode with photographer Rankin. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.
I've swapped my email provider to HEY after getting a pre-launch invite to 'HEY for Work'. I wrote a review of it that you can read at adamstoner.com/hey. I'm finding it really valuable. Screening senders before they reach your inbox has been a delight, newsletters are displayed in what is essentially a newsfeed, and receipts and transactions automatically go to the Paper Trail. Give me a reason to enjoy it more: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I binge-brought a load of books recently. I'm digging through the poetry of Indian-Canadian Rupi Kaur – home body is my favourite collection and also the most recent – and have LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media and Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion queued up. Cal Newport, author of Digital Minimalism has a new book, A World Without Email, coming out next month... Maybe he needs to try HEY?
In the past I've been the sort of person to fall in love with an item and then buy multiples or buy it in lots of different colours. I did that earlier this month with the New Elder Henley Shirt from &SONS, who I believe are Cheltenham based. Their beanies are also very nice and have been covering up lockdown hair that I can only describe as reminiscent of Chris Martin circa Viva La Vida.
Oh, and in my last update I said I'd send these to coincide with full moons. For clarification, moonflowers don't count.
The full moon is happening right now – 27 February, 8:17am UTC – it's called a Snow Moon, which is pretty apt given the weather early on this month. As for why there's a full moon at 8 o'clock in the morning, Royal Museums Greenwhich handily explain:
the time refers to the exact moment when the Sun and Moon are aligned on opposite sides of the Earth. This moment is known as the 'syzygy' of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, and can happen at any time day or night.
Now you know.