July has flown by. It’s scary how quickly this year is going. Packing lots into each week is making the months fly.
Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks. It includes an interstate trip, some fantastic movies, excellent music and more. The intention is to share stuff that I’ve enjoyed so you might enjoy it too.
Stuff I’ve been doing
I started the week by going to Bright for Darker Days festival courtesy of Dave’s Brewery Tours. It was awesome to see a different part of the country. High Country Victoria is incredible. We stopped by at a few breweries, enjoyed some great beers (and gin) and had a great time. It was cold – really bloody cold – but brilliant.
Callum and I went to the Swans vs GWS game at Spotless Stadium. Callum’s adopted the Giants so it was fun. Swans won… obvs. It was a cracking game – some awesome goals. Before the game we went shopping for a barbecue, cooked up some steaks and had some good beers. Reinforcing the male stereotype.
I’m off to New Zealand in August so I’ve spent a lot of time planning my holiday. I’m all booked up and now I’m just looking at bars, pubs, breweries, wineries, distilleries, cafes, restaurants, food trucks (oh and some sights and galleries and stuff) to see.
I finally got to go to Chiswick at Art Gallery NSW. It was for my work EOFY lunch. The food was incredible, like really blood great. The slow cooked lamb, smoked trout and duck and pistachio terrine were highlights.
Much of the last couple of months have been spent working on a redesign for SydneyBeer. I’ve been working with an awesome local designer on a new logo and it’s now live. It’s taken quite a bit of work but I’m super excited it’s up and running.
I also did a bit of baking – flapjacks and chocolate chip cookies as well. Need something unhealthy to balance the running (less of that recently) and the football.
Stuff I’ve been listening to
BBC Radio 4 did an adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. It reminded me how much I love radio plays. It was really, really bloody good. I need to read some Kafka again!
Podcasts at 1.5x speed are a revelation. It’s allowed me so much more time. There are still some I listen to at normal speed. Where music is played, where accents are difficult to understand or if it’s made by the BBC (some standards just need to be upheld).
I saw Baby Driver – more on that below. Anyone who’s seen it knows you just have to get the soundtrack after seeing it. It’s incredible and works on its own as a compilation album and brings various scenes back to life.
The same goes for Dunkirk. Hans Zimmer is a genius and the audio illusions used in this soundtrack are incredible. It’s so tense. The motifs from Elgar’s Nimrod are exceptional too. Incredibly moving.
I’d been holding off on listening to James Vincent McMorrow’s True Care until it got a physical release. I really like it. On listening to it, I realised he played ‘National’ at his Opera House show. I’d obviously never heard it before but enjoyed it. Really like it hearing it again. Particularly like these lines which made me chuckle at the show, I think they’ll make me smile every time I hear them.
We’d spend our nights listening to the National
that was special
even though your car was small
You said your favourite song
was the one about death
I said every single ones like that
in fact there’s literally nothing left…
Thinking about it now it, for him to play a song from this album before it came out, while he was still touring the previous album makes me think he’s super stoked about True Care. That’s definitely the impression I get from what he’s put on social media. He seems genuinely excited about the experimental nature and different direction of this album which is a new sound again, just a year after We Move which was different in its own right. He seems to be on a Sufjan-esque creative roll at the moment. It’s awesome!
Finally, I listened to Arcade Fire’s Everything Now. I was really hoping it would be good since I found Reflektor really disappointing. Thankfully, it’s excellent. There are some dark lyrics which contrast with the poppy tunes. Maybe I’m imagining it but I’m sure there are some Bowie influences going on.
Stuff I’ve been reading
I’m still getting through Brewmaster’s Table and it gets me giddy with excitment every time I read it. It’s making me want to cook more and stock up a beer cellar with some classics.
I’ve also read through some of The Blizzard but still need to dive in properly.
Stuff I’ve been watching
I finished the latest season of Veep. It was hilarious as I’d hoped it would be. Not quite to the high standards of the early seasons but great all the same.
Baby Driver was well worth the trip to the cinema. I love Edgar Wright’s aesthetic sensibility as well as his ear for a soundtrack and his witty writing. I’ll whisper it but it didn’t quite live up to my ENORMOUS expectations but it was still fantastic! It’s the type of film which I could watch a million times and still see new things each time.
It was a good month for cinema trips as I saw Dunkirk as well. It’s truly harrowing and horrifying. I sat just dumbstruck with a tear in my eye throughout the end credits. The cinematography is electrifying, disorientating and dirty, the soundtrack is gut-wrenching. It’s an epic spectacle and genuinely moving.
I finally watched The Book of Life. It’s one of the most beautiful animations I’ve ever seen and the most plain-speaking, touching and balanced way of talking about death with children. The word “masterpiece” is used way too much but, well…
The Hippopotamus is an upper class romp, funny and tragic but ultimately just kind of okay. Roger Allam’s performance is fantastic though.
I wasn’t sure whether I’d enjoy Jackie but Natalie Portman’s performance was something else entirely. I’ve not always rated her but this was fantastic.
I watched Alone in Berlin which was decent. Two excellent central performances and quite a harrowing story but it never truly captured me. Still very watchable though.
The AFL season is heating up. Finals are approaching and it looks like the Swans will be there.
The BBC ran a three part documentary series on the Art of Life in Japan. God, I want to go back so badly.
Live at the BBC has been fun to watch. I was aware of most of the comedians but there were a couple I’d not seen before.
Mock The Week is as good as ever. I wish it was on every week.
I hope everyone saw Andy Serkis reading some bloke’s tweets in Gollum and Smeagol’s voices.
Reinforcing my love for the internet was this video I stumbled upon. It’s an American propaganda video from the WW2. The first ten minutes or so are spent teaching Americans about British pubs and how they should behave in them. It’s brilliant.
Stuff I’ve been playing
I’ve still been going on the 3DS but not that much really. I haven’t had a lot of time among everything else.
That’s it. As I mentioned, next month I’m off to New Zealand – Wellington, Nelson and Auckland. I can’t wait. I’ll aim to have some photos from the holiday up before the August edition of this post.