Some lost weeks

I’m not not sleeping, but I’m not sleeping well. Once I’m out, I’m out, but finding my way out is difficult.

A few weeks ago, I started using the pomodoro technique to break up my days. You set a timer for 25 minutes (usually), focus on a task for the duration, then set another timer to give yourself a 5 minute rest. It’s supposed to increase productivity; I’ve found that in these unproductive times, it’s sometimes kept me at a level with what I was able to achieve Before. Sometimes it hasn’t. Sometimes it’s just reminded me that another 25 minutes has gone by and I still haven’t moved.

Artificially creating a rhythm pushes me through these vague, milestone-less days. I’m usually tired. I’m usually mostly okay. I’m trying to be kind.

And then when it gets to Sunday, I remember I should be writing one of my flippant weekly round-ups. But I don’t, and I haven’t for a few weeks now. I’m not sure if I’ll start again.

I’m not maxxing all this formless time by cramming it into the shape of a free training course or an attempt to remember my beginners Japanese lessons. I am not going to come out of this with a new skill.

am consuming Netflix, DVD boxsets, Disney+, Kindle ebooks, livestreams, podcasts, Spotify playlists. I’ve found my Nintendo DSi and reread a lot of Enid Blytons. I could record it all, like I said I was going to at the start of the year.

Some of what I’m consuming makes an impression. But I also seem to have lost it – it – whatever it is that’s pushed me to tell the internet my opinions since I was 12 and made my first Angelfire website. Throughout my life, I’ve churned out a lot into this ethereal maw, lol. I guess it’s not gone completely if I still feel like writing couple of hundred words about how it might be lost. Maybe it’s just irrelevant. It’s hard to dredge up any impetus to record what I thought of Flubber, or the NT Live Frankenstein, or Contagion.

I dunno. Maybe if I could sleep better.

RotW (16/17): Doctor Foster, Love Is Blind, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, It’s True, It’s True, It’s True

Earlier this week, Ben and I talked about our daydream future rabbits (Crumble, Custard, and Jeremy Irons). We’ve talked about getting fluffy friends for a while and keep putting it off because we’re never sure how long we’ll stay in one place and we’re hilariously financially unstable. Lockdown is putting into perspective how much we’d value having pets, and how everything is much more uncertain than we imagined, even when we thought we were being sensible and practical.

Then a couple of days ago, a very friendly black and white cat started visiting our garden. No collar but clearly looked after and well socialised, so we think it might be scouting us out as a holiday home. It’s amazing how much it immediately lifted us to spend even 10 minutes with Simon Cowell (which is his holiday home name), so maybe we’ll rethink bunnies again soon.

Cat tax (he decided to help me take the washing in by getting in the bag):

covered in grass and pollen at all times because Simon Cowell LOVES to roll

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to for the last couple of weeks when I haven’t been hanging out with Simon Cowell.

Continue reading “RotW (16/17): Doctor Foster, Love Is Blind, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, It’s True, It’s True, It’s True”

RotW (13/14/15): Zelda, Buffy/Angel, Malory Towers

I keep writing and re-writing this intro in an attempt to find pithy things to say about how I’m experiencing the passage of time, what lockdown is like where I am, how I’m filling my days other than the brief list of highlights I’ll record here. Some days I pour my heart out in my diary, trying to track how this all feels, light a pathway in case I ever want to walk back this way. Some days I do nothing at all. When I started trying to write a lighthearted weekly-ish blog about all the stupid stuff I watch and read and play, I didn’t imagine I’d be blogging a pandemic.

Continue reading “RotW (13/14/15): Zelda, Buffy/Angel, Malory Towers”

RotW (11): Daisy Jones & The Six, ???!!!

So this week has been…a lot.

In case anyone’s stumbling across this and doesn’t know who the hell I am, I’m in the UK, where the advice about the pandemic is currently ???!!!

Coincidentally, I realised last weekend that I was definitely coming down with something, which has turned out (so far) to be a relatively mild head cold. It’s hard to know what to do about that when the advice is ???!!! but I reasoned that if I would stay away from my parents – who are both in treatment for cancer, so do not need to get any of my bugs, even if it’s ‘just’ a cold – then I should probably try to stay away from everyone right now. So I’ve been at home for most of this week.

And you’d think that would mean a week of catching up on boxsets, and reading, and snuggling up to watch films in the evenings. But mostly I have just…not been able to do anything. I dunno about the rest of you, but the Shakespeare-wrote-King-Lear-in-quarantine meme has been making me laugh the most, because it just seems ridiculous to expect anything coherent of ourselves when there is nothing coherent happening out there in the world.

So I have basically nothing to offer you this week except…

Continue reading “RotW (11): Daisy Jones & The Six, ???!!!”

Review – Macbeth – Derby Theatre

This review by Emily Holyoake was originally published by Exeunt Magazine on 7 March 2020.

what do kites symbolise?


‘The kite symbolizes the quest for freedom in you’ – okay, well, that can’t be it. It’s been a while since I did an essay on Macbeth but I’m reasonably sure that the quest for freedom isn’t one of the themes.


‘Traditionally, kites symbolize both prophecy and fate’ – okay yeah, that’s probably it. Huh. I didn’t know that about kites.

There’s a meat hook in this version of Macbeth.

There are also some of those translucent plastic curtains that hang down in strips, like you get in a butcher’s shop.

(“Like you get in Co-op,” says my partner, a former Co-op employee.)

The plastic curtains aren’t there all the time – sometimes a big rusty metal screen with a tiny door and tiny windows comes down in front of them. I don’t know what slaughterhouses look like. Maybe they have metal walls and tiny doors and tiny windows.

When Lady Macduff and her child get killed, they get taken behind the Co-op curtains and someone squeezes a bottle of fake blood at the plastic. It comes out in a thin, paint-y, ketchup-y squirt.

What else?

Continue reading (via Exeunt Magazine)…

RotW (8/9/10): Oz and James’ Big Gay Wine Adventure, The Haunting of Hill House, The Furies, Macbeth

Phew. So the last few Sunday afternoons have been uncharacteristically busy. One of those Sunday afternoons was spent celebrating turning 29, which means I’m only one year away from finally getting out of my twenties, so hooray for that.

But yeah, I’m hopelessly behind on this weekly round-up. And because it’s me, the idea of being so behind and having an imperfect record makes me want to scrap the whole project. I think that’s one of the real reasons I’m ‘rubbish at Sunday afternoons’ – I’m rubbish at them because it’s the bit of the week when I realise how much I haven’t done, and that usually makes me want to ditch the whole concept of productivity and just wait it out until Monday morning. I like fresh starts. I like new days with no mistakes in them. I hate posting a blog that’s called ‘Review of the Week (8/9/10)’. I’d rather just burn the whole thing to the ground and start again.

But fuck it. I’m not going to.

Continue reading “RotW (8/9/10): Oz and James’ Big Gay Wine Adventure, The Haunting of Hill House, The Furies, Macbeth”

RotW (7): Station Eleven, Sabrina, Emma

This morning we were woken up by the sound of water dripping through the ceiling onto Ben’s pillow, so if you were wondering how we’re weathering the storm up here in the Midlands, the answer is that there are multiple holes in our roof.

But obviously we’re by no means the worst hit, and I really hope that wherever you are this week, you’re reading this from somewhere watertight.

Continue reading “RotW (7): Station Eleven, Sabrina, Emma”

RotW (6): Frostpunk, Harry Potter Grew Up To Be A Cop, Lady Bird, Avengers Assemble

The weather is so bad here that our windowsill blew off, which…I didn’t realise was a thing that could happen. Hope you’re all staying safe and warm.

One of my New Year resolutions was to write a novel (why), and after using January to plan the stupid thing, I’ve had to sit down and write some actual prose this week. It’s going well in the sense that I have, indeed, written some words. They are all awful words. But I’ve made a start. So here’s what else I’ve had time for this week.

Continue reading “RotW (6): Frostpunk, Harry Potter Grew Up To Be A Cop, Lady Bird, Avengers Assemble”

RotW (4/5): Sherds, Dunebug, Marriage Story, DOCTOR WHO AGAIN

I make no apologies for not posting last week – I did a late Burns Night celebration and was far too full of haggis and whisky to even remember my week, let alone write about it.

Now that my memory has sharpened again, here’s a brief summary of what I watched, read, and listened to over the past fortnight. I’ve tried to keep this one short because tbh I have a spag bol to make tonight.

Continue reading “RotW (4/5): Sherds, Dunebug, Marriage Story, DOCTOR WHO AGAIN”