Happy new year from Sweden!
Barns Ness Lighthouse.
From a few days ago.
The newly issued half-speed remastered edition of Brian Eno’s Ambient 1 / Music for Airports is very welcome.
The CD version I bought about 15 years ago sounded rather poor quality, with a distracting tape hiss running throughout. A bit frustrating when it’s one of the greatest and most important pieces of music of the 20th century.
It was a bit of a mystery to me why some other Brian Eno albums got this lavish remaster treatment first. The new version is spread across 2 LPs of heavyweight vinyl, played at 45rpm. This means each track luxuriously has its own side.
I don’t know much about the science of remastering techniques. But there’s no doubt to me that this sounds fantastic.
I’ve never been so pleased to hear a remastered album. The tape hiss is all but obliterated, and there are lots of details I hadn’t heard before.
40 years on from its original release, one of the most pleasing pieces of music now sounds almost perfect.
I’ve been writing an article that I’ve been thinking about for well over a year. Upon writing it, it’s turned out to be surprisingly short. So I turned to my two favourite block-busters — and they both told me to do things I was thinking about doing anyway.
Oblique Strategies told me to tidy up.
Blockbox said write it on a train.
This time last week, I ran the Edinburgh MoRun 5k with my friend and colleague Lauren Tormey. For a few hours only, I had a moustache. Definitely not my best look!
This is the first time I’ve entered a race. To my surprise, I finished 24th out of the 293 that entered the 5k race, with a time of 24:29. Not bad! Although I rather suspect this is because the serious runners had entered the 10k race. Or perhaps it was the aerodynamic benefits of having a moustache.
The route was the main road around Arthur’s Seat — a hilly route with 106 metres of climbing. So it felt pretty good to do my fastest run of the year here, as well as getting personal best times for a mile, a kilometre and a half kilometre (on the downhill bits of course, but still…).
To step up the challenge, people are suggesting I should start doing 10k runs. I’m not sure if I’m up for running regular 50 minute sessions to train for this… but watch this space.
It’s a dream come true — I’ve finally won HQ Trivia.
…But it was a true team effort thanks to the help of Rebecca, Alex, Louise and Jamie. The drinks are on me… Which leaves me about a tenner out of pocket.
Failed on the first banana I tried.
Alex and I took our friends Louise and Jamie to a bread making workshop as part of a wedding present.
Thank you to Colin at Bread in Fife, who led the class and was great fun to work with. Formerly based in Freuchie in Fife, he has since moved to Edinburgh — but remains called Bread in Fife.
We had fantastic fun making bread that we baked in a Dutch oven. We each had our own recipe to follow. I made a wholemeal loaf, Alex made a walnut boule, Louise made a white cob, and Jamie made a harvest loaf.
While waiting for the dough to prove, we made digestive biscuits. We also made a Russian bridie-like pie called a pirozhki, which contained an onion and egg filling.
Lunch for this week is sorted!
The new Formula 1 timing app is comically bad. Even on quite a large screen, it only shows 10 drivers — at a gigantic font size. Meanwhile, the live driver tracker is juddery and completely unusable.
But hey, I guess it uses Sean Bratches’ new fonts.
The old app wasn’t perfect, but at least it gave you all the information you needed to follow a session, and the driver tracker was usable.
It’s difficult to believe Liberty Media did any usability testing with any F1 fans before unleashing this style-over-substance atrocity.
Alex took me to Training for Warriors, the high-intensity interval training programme she attends three times a week. Usually it is a women-only session. But today, regulars were invited to bring their male partners with them.
Alex was keen for me to see what she gets up to at Training for Warriors. I was a little reticent about going, because this isn’t really my sort of thing. I prefer moderate runs or long bike rides by myself.
True enough, I struggled at elements of today’s session. I have never been good at push-ups and the like — and moreover, I have never felt the need to get good at them.
Training for Warriors is also big on community spirit, with participants encouraging each other on. As an introvert, I actually find that sort of thing distracting, and more than once I flopped to the floor when someone spoke to me mid-push-up. I’ll stick to the solo bike rides!
Speaking of which, I’m doing Pedal for Scotland tomorrow. So I was also concerned about making myself sore or tired out ahead of 45 miles of riding tomorrow.
But although today was tough for me, I also found it enjoyable. I’m glad to have gone today, and really pleased that Alex is so enthusiastic about it.
Dinner at the Atomium.
Epic drive-through beer shop near Spa!
It’s called Drive-In Andrien, and it’s one of the most surreal places I’ve been to. You drive in through a garage door, and you’re basically in the Costco of Belgian beer. Many beers were purchased, and our wallets are not that much lighter…
Chilling on Eau Rouge (or is it Raiddilon?) after the Belgian Grand Prix.
Belgian Grand Prix beer times. 🍺
It’s not lost on us that it’s 10:30am at home. But it’s party time all the time at the Verstappen stand.
We’re here at Spa-Francorchamps!
Campervan fun times
Haas pit stop practice.
Would you believe it! Our campervan is orange. We’ll fit right in with the Max Verstappen fans!
Soulwax at SWG3 in Glasgow, 15 July 2018.
Don’t look down.
At the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.
Putting with pals in North Berwick yesterday evening
Settling in for a night watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Only 15½ hours to go!
Thom Yorke and friends at the Usher Hall
Concorde at the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune.
You Are Still Here.
By Mona Hatoum, on display at Fundació Joan Miró.
We’ve had worse breakfasts.
The view from our Airbnb in Barcelona at 2am. Not bad. 👍
Field Music at St Luke’s, Glasgow. 🎼
A different lunchtime walk today, at Braidburn Valley Park.
Snow Day at Bruntsfield Links
I’ll be honest; I’ve had better music rounds.
Fixed it for you