Weeknote, 25th September 2022

Today was a bit of a double art extravaganza, as we went down to Folkestone to see Sara Trillo talk about a project she is currently working on about dene holes. Deneholes are interesting earthworks dating back to the bronze age, and consist of a shaft dug down, usually between 50-100ft, meeting the chalk. Whoever built them then excavated, mining some of the rich chalk, probably for use as fertiliser. There are estimated to be around 10,000 across Kent and Essex and very few anywhere else. Sara has been researching them to do some kind of artwork.

Also, we looked at our friend Judith’s piece, A Square of Time: Prelude, which features Kim’s voice reading.

Folkestone is a fascinating place for art at the moment. It reminds me of Brighton when I first lived there, with the kind of cheap semi-derelict spaces artists can afford to use and has a proper creative feel to it.

And we’ll be down in Brighton next weekend. Kim is attending a two-day drawing event. On the other hand, I will be hanging about somewhere and hopefully getting some writing done.


Ah, writing. I have been putting off writing more of my short story. I hit a wall with it: I have a beginning. I have an end. I have an idea for a middle. But when I try and write that middle, it just doesn’t seem to work.

Of course, the only thing to do is to keep writing it. As Cory Doctorow wrote:

What I realized, gradually, was that the way I felt about my work was about everything except the work. If I felt like I was writing crap, it had more to do with my blood-sugar, my sleep-deficit, and conflicts in my personal life than it did with the work. The work was how I got away from those things, but they crept into the work nonetheless.

You can’t get away from the work. Part of my thing is that I haven’t yet established the habit of writing coherently. I don’t — yet — show up at the same time, every day, to write. It’s still something that I do as and when I can. But that can change.

Reading and watching

I’ve started reading An account of the decline of the Great Auk, according to one who saw it by Jessie Greengrass, and crikey, it’s good. I love short stories — I’ve always preferred them to novels — and Greengrass can really write.

In parallel (yes, I have a problem with this), I have been dipping into Words are my matter by Ursula Le Guin. Le Guin’s non-fiction is as good as her fiction, and I recommend you read it.

I’d recommend you read Kaspersky’s report on How smartphone makers track users, as it’s a real eye-opener. You probably won’t want to use the version of Android you get with your phone once you have done it.

We are still watching Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and enjoying it. The one thing to note is that the various strands are currently a little ungainly and uneven. You’ll care about some much more than others.

Deep in the depths of the satellite channels, on Talking Picture TV, you will currently find some repeats of The Outer Limits from the early 1960s. One episode they showed this week was the classic Demon with a glass hand written by Harlan Ellison. Set your devices to record.

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