New film project on the go. I can see even from this early stage that shoot will mostly consist of people making warm beverages for the benefit of Anne, Russell and I.
A snippet of dialogue in Put Out More Flags;
“It will be probably be full of a lot of –– soldiers.”
“Darling, I’ve never before heard words like that spoken. I thought they only came in print, in novels.”
Big, clever, break the fourth-wall stuff never makes me want to punch the sky half as much as the tiny moments.
We made a silly thing a few weeks back.
Filter is Anne and I’s attempt at a fashion shoot. It exists for four reasons:
1) I got back into using Newspaper Club
2) There’s a running joke about how much our Instagram feeds look like a slow-burn Toast catalogue
3) I like doing things with the extra hour afforded by the clocks going back
4) There must have been a fourth reason, or we wouldn’t have bothered doing it
It’s absurd. The page size is about four times too large and it’s so vain it defies belief. But it scratched an itch and, actually, it came out looking pretty good.
I’m on the fence about making this an ‘official’ We Are Words + Pictures project, but I do like the idea of an annual thing tied in to the spare hour of every year.
Last night I spoke at LDNIA. It’s the first time I’ve spoken at a thing for a while. Two reasons for that.
1) I haven’t had anything to say for a while. I wanted to wait until I’d made some things rather than just reckoned about them. I’ve been with GDS for a year and a half now, and I’m comfortable talking about what I’ve been up to (although, to be honest, you’re probably better off asking Sarah Richards to say something instead. Seriously. I’ll put you in touch if you want – she’s brilliant).
2) The last talk I gave was a eulogy for my Grandad. You know, I didn’t think that was a thing until I realised that it was, absolutely, a thing. The last time I spoke I had to fight very hard not to step away from the lectern – funerals are nothing like anything.
Hannah’s post the other day reminded me that stacks of energy goes into talking. Or, at least, that I try and put a lot in. They can wipe you out, when you put a lot of yourself into them. I haven’t been doing them all that long – often it feels like a novelty.
I get so much more out of them though. I work out what I think about stuff when I write a talk, and how I feel about things when I perform one. That’s a valuable thing.
All of which is a roundabout way of saying to those who came last night ‘Thanks’. You were lovely. It would have been my Grandad’s birthday yesterday, and it felt fitting to be exercising a bit of my brain that’s been dormant for a while. Thanks also to Matt for inviting me – much appreciated.
Three things. The Caught by the River social last night was tremendous fun. Some great readings and talks, followed by a beautiful snippet from Michael Smith and Maxy Bianco’s films series Another England. Well worth spending some time with.
Something that struck me – something Tim Dee put into words, actually – was the value of the talks and readings coming from people who were a little bit more experienced. A little bit older. The thoughts were a bit more worn in, the perspectives a bit more mature. They’d spent serious time thinking about and doing the things they were there to talk about. I liked that. I think there’s still a huge value in the raw reckons of inexperience, but I enjoyed the fact that this wasn’t that.
Secondly, I’ve started using linkydink, a service that compiles submitted links from a group of people into a daily digest. It’s really nice, a kind of collaborative Roo’s Letter. Greg‘s running a list called The Best of People, and it’s swiftly becoming my default repository for Things That Have Made Me Think. Greg’s tastes are sufficiently different to my own that I’m getting a kick out of seeing his contributions.
Finally, I’ve started hanging out at Orchard on Tuesday mornings. You should come.
I wrote a silly tweet:
Brilliant. Cheers internet!
A couple of weeks ago I grabbed a few blog posts from the GOV.UK blogging platform and sent them to print.
We’re about a month away from the volume of blogging over there getting too big to keep track of. We need to explore different ways of collating that stuff for people, and I thought a ‘best of the month’ in print might be an interesting experiment.
It doesn’t work. At all.
The lag between sending something to print and getting it back – whether with Newspaper Club or Lulu or anywhere else – makes it way easier to put some distance between whatever creative spark prompts the work and the actual final thing. That distancing effect was even greater when I realised I’d fucked up the file before I exported it (the front page header was utterly wrecked).
Many pieces are too ‘of the moment’ and don’t stand up to a monthly schedule. The ones that do work well could actually just as well be collected in a year or so – it doesn’t really matter when.
Still and all, it’s a useful thing. What we did end up mulling over is how a PDF collection, or epub version, might work. Something not a million miles away from what Aly‘s getting people to do for the Transition readers, just downloadable. For people to ‘take offline’.
Basically, it’d be nice to get some of these stories in front of people in a format that doesn’t remind them of work. I like the idea of a few curators – for service managers, designers or delivery managers – picking their highlights and packaging up the URLs for people to read over a weekend, or on the train home.