Galway and Connemara – October 2019

A couple of nights in Galway, coupled with a driven loop of Connemara – one of the most beautiful areas I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Squeezed in a quick trip to Kylemore Abbey, situated in Kylemore pass – a Victorian house, convent and once upon a time, a girls school.

Here are some picture highlights.

Changing Man

There has been a lot of change around here. In the last seven months, I’ve turned 50, got a new job, sold my house and moved country.  

In a list, it doesn’t look much, but I suspect that a therapist would talk about ‘life changes’ and tut as they wrote a small list at the top of a blank page.

Some of it has been refreshing, some of it a bit scary, most of it successful and all of it required hard work.

However, here I am.   And you know, it feels pretty good!

In the process of making some of these life changes, I’ve been through a massive detox.   Moving house inspired me to do a massive declutter and purge of both my physical and digital world. 

Some of the work is still ongoing, and it’s giving me the impetus to get back to having a focused online presence. 

So, here I am… back, and refocused.

My work has not even begun.

A time always comes in an artist’s life when he must take his bearings, draw closer to his own centre, and then try to stay there… A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened. This is why, perhaps, after working and producing for twenty years, I still live with the idea that my work has not even begun.

Albert Camus – 1968

Heroic Consistency

Don’t aim for consistently heroic efforts. Aim for being heroic at consistency.

Heroic efforts = take a huge toll emotionally, physically, and cognitively. Not a sustainable thing to strive for.

Consistency = compounds over time. Good enough over and over again makes you great.— Brad Stulberg (@BStulberg) September 18, 2018

Live: Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert

For the second time this year, we had a chance to see Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert live, in one of my favourite London venues – Oslo in Hackney. 

Taking to the stage in novelty jumpers and hats, there was a Christmas feel about the show, with some tracks taken from their recently released ‘Ghost Stories from Christmas‘ album.  We even had Asda lights, and a cracker pulled with one of the more ‘active’ audience members. 

A few pictures from the show:

Twitter Digest

I tweet more than I blog. Interesting links, good reads and occasionally a pithy comment. 

So to keep my content all flowing to one place – I’ve added a Twitter Digest here – each day a plugin pulls all of my tweets from the day before, and posts them here. 

Hopefully will be a dynamic way to keep my site updated. 

Miracles do happen

I ran five kilometres this morning. Four months ago I couldn’t run for a minute.   

I used to visit the gym two or three times a week, repeat twenty or thirty minutes of cardio. Sure, I’d be sweaty and puffed out, but I couldn’t ever run.   In the end, I’d blame my knees or my ankles and stick with exercise that had no impact. 

Then, this winter I decided that I wanted to do some walking – I headed down to a local stretch of river and would walk three or four kilometres listening to a podcast or audiobook.  Every time I would be overtaken by healthy-looking joggers and cyclists.  

Dorney Lake – a London 2012 venue

After completing some walking laps of Dorney Lake, I decided that I really wanted to run around it – but knowing how much I hated running, I needed a programme to get there. 

Enter the NHS Couch to 5km programme – I started on June 8th, and graduated on 22nd August. I was short of the 5km, but it was within reach. 

Now, I’ve ran around Dorney Lake on a 5km track a total of four times – slowly, but surely I plod my way round. 

To me, it’s proof that miracles can happen…

I did a few things to help me get there:

  1. Held myself accountable – a video diary, telling people I was on a journey made me accountable for my work. 
  2. Enrolled a cheer squad – one or two positive messages of support after each run was enough to lift my spirits.
  3. Found the right tools – good shoes, good socks and some proper running tops made me feel like an athlete, even as I was learning. 
  4. Geeked out – Strava and some decent Bluetooth headphones kept me amused and entertained. 
  5. Enjoyed it – one of the best pieces of advice was to look up and out and the world as I ran.  

As I’ve said on more than one of my videos, if I can do it, you can too.  Take a few steps, run for a minute and before you know it, you’ll be running a five kilometre stretch. 

Podcast: Boys don’t cry with Russell Kane

I’ve written about podcasts before (here and here), and I’m constantly seeking out new ones to add to my commute and gym feed.

I stumbled across Boys don’t Cry, hosted by Russell Kane today and listened to the latest episode on the way to work.  It’s hosted by joe.co.uk which is an interesting online men’s lifestyle brand. 

Boys Don’t Cry – Russell Kane

The episode I was listening too, debated the issue of flirting in the post #metoo era and how (primarily) young men act now that the dynamics of relationships have shifted a bit. 

Russell Kane hosts, alongside comedians Justin Moorhouse and Danny McLoughlin as well as a ‘female auditor’ Rachel Fairburn.

The 45-minute show is both funny and attention grabbing, and gave me some food for thought as I plan any words of wisdom that I have for a young man heading off to university in the next month.  

The archive promises to discuss the ‘issues that men don’t usually like discussing’ – probing the ‘inner recesses of male insecurity’. 

I’d highly recommend Boys Don’t Cry – an entertaining listen, I’m going to be working my way back through the other episodes next.

What podcasts am I missing?  Let me know in the comments what I should be checking out?