Fuck man, it’s been a long pandemic – and I hope everyone reading this has kept safe and sound.
I thought I’d come back to the blog – even briefly (who knows?) – to give some sort of note as to what’s been happening since April, and it’s hard to know where to kick off.
I’ll keep it short, maybe with the intention on filling things in at a later date, but long and short of it is that things are fine.
Due to a mix of family needs, physical impossibilities, and psychological fragilities Pop-up Books has been on a hiatus since the beginning of the year, really. In its absence, I bought a Rickenbacker 360 and wrote an album. 15 demos all recorded and on my hard-drive. I hope to record them all later in the year and release it some time in spring next year. I’m not rushing it. I want to give it the effort, and time that I think it’s due. I’m very proud of it. It’s jangly, joyous, and at times, very pretty. More on that in the future, I’m sure.
Midway through the pandemic, I moved from my bachelor pad in the centre of Warsaw, out to our cute wee family home now in Bielany, with Marta, the cat, and the dog. I love being here. It feels like the countryside despite still being the city. Waking up and seeing Marta every morning, before walking the dog and starting the day (especially after couple of months of lockdown that kept us apart) is a great life to have.
Just after moving here, I bought a PS4, finished Spider-Man, then started Death Stranding. A dilettante gamer for most of my life, Death Stranding took my breath away, and I’d now say I have another real non-musical hobby. Currently about 3/4 of the way through The Last of Us (the first one), and loving it. My real gaming passion though has been playing – and getting pretty good at – FIFA 20 (The game’s broken!). That’s been a journey, I can tell you. From early on temper-tantrums and rage-quits due to utterly bizarre game-play, to Patreon-based coaching, to now accepting the game’s broken and sometimes that stuff will just happen, to climbing the divisions (currently div3). I’m an Online Seasons man, playing with Newcastle United. I’ve been tempted by FUT starting in FIFA 21, but honestly, I don’t know if I want to invest the time it’ll take grinding the objectives etc.
It became fairly clear that FIFA was filling a football-less hole in my life during lockdown and the return of footy was a glorious relief. Of late the European tournaments have helped me forget Newcastle’s awful end to the season and the failed take-over shenanigans, and I’ve been enjoying the Women’s Champions League too. Most importantly though, it seems that Airdrieonians – my one-true-footballing-love, will be streaming their games using the pixellot technology, so for the first time in a decade I might get to watch the Diamonds every week. Even toying with more football content on the blog, or even a substack newsletter. Who knows.
I’ve been a little neglectful of the radio show podcasts. I’ve not really been treating it as a pod, but as a 1-and-done radio show. Starting September, I’ll be back to doing the show then uploading them again, so hopefully the’ll appear here more regularly. On that note also, it should be shouted out loud that Ola has been instrumental in keeping If You’re Feeling Sinister going in my ‘down-time’ from it. I was struggling with various bits and pieces and Ola kept Sinister going with really only “match-day” input from me, so I’m very grateful indeed.
Very recently, Jules and I have come back together on zoom to discuss Pop-up Books, and we’ve got some plans – even if health, and a second wave of Covid keeps the band on hiatus for a while still, we’re going to get back at it. I’m excited to get started.
Anyways, that’s probably enough for now. More – I hope – soon.