What I’m up to - June 2020
Here’s everything new as of the mid-point of 2020.
This is an archived post, created from a previous version of my Now page. View my current Now page.
- The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig - My lockdown reading has been heavy on the light-and-fluffy SF. I burned through all of Becky Chamber’s Wayfarers series and John Scalzi’s Interdependency series, both of which were warm baths in writing terms - comfortable and soothing. Now I’m onto something a little more chewy - the autobiography of the writer Stefan Zweig, who lived through the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the First World War and the rise of Nazism. I came across him as the named inspiration for the The Grand Budapest Hotel and the book definitely has much of the same feel (though without the Wes Anderson lens) in its descriptions of Belle Epoque Mitteleuropa. It’s quite a chunky book, so I expect to be reading it for another couple of weeks at least.
- Still trying to walk every morning. I’m managing three or four days a week, although last week was a bit of a loss. The brief burst of summer we got in mid-May seems to have collapsed back into mist and cooler weather.
- I’ve been working from home 100% of the time now since early March and I’m doing okay with it. An early panic purchase of a monitor was a sound decision. It has definitively answered my personal curiosity about whether I would like working from home. Answer: yes, but I think it would be a lot more fun if there was the ability to leave home more often. Still, maybe in a few weeks.
- Finished my edit of Stringers and sent it out to a couple of beta readers. We’ll see what they say. I took the latter half of May and the first half of June off from writing, because…
- I spent a good chunk of the time looking for a new job. Unfortunately my contract wasn’t renewed and will finish up at the end of June. Thankfully I was able to find a new role, which I’ll start in July. I’m really looking forward to it. Remote initially, because *gestures broadly* of all of this, but then working in the West End with some home working.
- We’re starting to see the end of the tunnel with lockdown, tentatively making plans for socially distanced visits and so on. After a bit of heart-in-mouth time with the contract loss, we’re also saving money, trying not to order too many takeaways (you can only use the I’m supporting local businesses excuse so many times) and trying plant some veg in the garden. One thing the whole lockdown situation has been good for is the garden. Our wonderful upstairs neighbour built three amazing raised beds, which we’re filling with compost and topsoil ready for our first crops.