Stuff I liked in January

In the spirit of Cheathco’s ‘Things I have faved‘, here’s a bunch of stuff I pulled a hard fave on in January.

Most of ‘The Seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’

A qualified fave for this book, recommended by Mark and Ella. I was caught up in the plot – a looping muder-mystery – right up until the moment where one character explains why it’s all happening.

I didn’t really need or want any of that. I guess that’s the biggest way my tastes have evolved over the last few years: I just want to get caught up in plots, not whys. Still, a great start to booking in 2019.

Ann spotting a kestrel in Letheringham

A few of us holed up in a beautiful holiday cottage over new year, an old mill, surrounded by farms. Ann took herself off for a walk in the copse on New Years day while I sat reading by the stream, and as she came back through she startled a kestrel. It took off and gave us both a really graceful display.


Russell’s wrapped up his podcast. I loved it. I feel smarter and more literate for having listed to it, a bit like LRB for the ears. Sad to see it go.

Into the Spider-verse

Vibrant and delightful, Into the Spider-verse got me all caught up and emotional. Connected a little too sharply with the gone-to-seed Peter Parker dragged into Miles Morales’s world. I’m looking forward to giving this another watch, hopefully at the Prince Charles when it hits its second run.

Ghosts of the Tsunami

A book recommendation from Robin Sloan’s newsletter. About the survivors 2011 tsunami, I founds passages in this absolutely devastating.

I usually read on commutes, and pretty much each journey to and from work I had to put this down and blink through tears.


I work at Juno, a start-up that offers legal services. I’m working on a real thing, with actual users, doing a mixture of writing, product-development and typing out code. I bloody love it.

Since October I’ve been working closely with Charlie, a lawyer at Juno, to rebuild our system for handling house purchases. It’s been hard work, made a damn sight easier because I’m surrounded by a supportive team, who have a really good attitude.

In the last few years I made career decisions that put me at arms length from working digital products. I discovered I find that deeply unsatisfying. Depressing, if I’m honest. Course-correcting last spring was draining and difficult, but the reward in the last couple of months has been amazing.

The Favourite

I felt unsettled throughout The Favourite. Very good. Would Lanthimos again.


Live album by 1900. I keep going back to this, and Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia by Hannah Peel which I found a little before Christmas. Music for typing and journeys.

Sydenham Hill

Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999

Ann and I fell hard for James Acaster after Katie recommended Repertoire, and we watched his stretch on Taskmaster. His new set is more explicitly personal, and less weird. We loved it.


Madeline Miller’s retelling of a bunch of ancient Greek myths from the perspective of goddess Circe. I dropped a few other books to burn through this, and took myself on a couple of reading dates towards the end so I could soak in it. Beautiful stuff.

TBH, I think part of why is because it dovetails nicely with the bits of trashy Warhammer fiction I like so much. Special shoutout there to The Undying King, in which the deathless servants of the god of the dead come to terms with the facts he’s gone mad.

Fallow Cross

Went for a one-day design workshop at Fallow Cross with a couple of designers at Punchdrunk. As with all group teaching stuff, I squirmed and bristled at lots of it – I don’t work well in those environments – but the teachers and space were terrific. A few things/stories/project idea kicking about as a result, which was the real reason for going.

The Mae Martin Experiment

Terrific night watching Mae Martin do her best to handle a bucket of questions from a trashed Soho Theatre crowd. Nicely handled, very funny, definitely up for watching her again down the line.

Right, let’s see how February goes.