After spending too long in the sun yesterday, it’s raining here. Coat weather!
Somehow I’ve not played Skyward Sword before. It’s really good!
Love how the UK is the country that breaks off relations with Krakoa in X-men #1. It’s the sort of thing the UK would do after booing during the Hellfire Gala.
Buscema & Roussos
Been looking at some early 80s covers for Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian by John Buscema. Hit by nostalgia which more than anything is down to George Roussos’ colouring. I have vivid memories of picking up these comics at newsagents on the way to school as a boy. Just delightful and lifted me after tough – seemingly endless – day!
Subterranean Network Blues
Sometimes I just don’t learn. Over the last decade I’ve built a Heath-Robinson home network out of a couple of WD NAS drives and some portable drives. For a few years I had one NAS automatically back up to the other every Sunday night. Back in March the newer NAS’ firmware updated and, for some reason, wouldn’t allow the other drive to auto backup. I knew that I needed to buy a proper NAS with RAID. But what I wanted was crazily expensive so I put my upgrade plans on hold and simply did a couple of manual backups syncing one drive to the other using FTP. Only I didn’t do it regularly. In fact, I think I only did it once. Yesterday something happened – some sort of router upgrade – that locked me out of both router and NAS drives. When I finally got back into the main NAS drive, I found it had been wiped. Everything wiped. While not the end of the world because the other NAS has everything backed up to last April, I’ve lost everything for the last two months. Really annoying. What’s worse is that I know I need to sort it out properly. I just don’t know what to do.
World of Black Hammer vol.3
Pleased to see the Library Editions of Black Hammer come out so frequently. Got this yesterday and just unpacked it this morning. I adore Tyler Crook’s artwork so this is a lovely Saturday morning pleasure.
Literature IS the operating instructions
Reading Ursula Le Guin’s **Words Are My Matter**, which is incredibly uplifting.
At one point Le Guin insists:
“Words are what matter. The sharing of words. The activation of the imagination through the reading of words.”
It’s a long time since I last bought an issue for my Warlock run. Got this today, Thor #164, which has – in the last couple of panels – there ‘s a glimpse of Him. It’s not in as good condition as I thought (there’s a little cover separation). Great Kirby art!
Gorgeous early Sunday morning in the back garden. Been out here for a couple of hours since six writing and reading. Shaped the piece I’m working on and looking at how James begins for some guidance on establishing tone at the start. Excited as I can see where this piece is going. Working title is “Brittle”. Everyone else is asleep in the house and I need this early morning to be able to completely focus.
Charity Shop Haul
Picked up some great books from the charity bookshop in town. A mixture of children’s books to add to my classroom library and some teacher books (Listening to Children Reading is one I’ve been looking out to find for ages). I’ve always steered away from Ladybird books but I’m not sure early years secondary students see them as just for primary kids anymore.
Like buses, just when you’ve been waiting for a new Hellboy publication two arrive at the same time. One of the stories in Universe is by Paul Grist, an absolutely amazing creator.
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
Finished Dark Matter quickly. It’s an Arctic ghost story. It felt slight to me: as if it’s really a short story that’s been padded out. The premise and setting are engaging, even if the characters are a little too Brideshead. The connection between the scientific concept of dark matter and the darkness of the Arctic night works well. It just didn’t need the explanation of who the ghost was. Would have been better with the ghost as a nameless, unknowable horror.
One of the joys of having a little time off work is to do some geeky-techy things that I wouldn’t ordinarily bother with. I’ve managed to get a self-hosted Wallabag working well. It’ll replace Pocket, which is coming up for subscription renewal. Wallabag is free. It’s very much like Pocket but has the bonus of exporting articles into formats like pdf and epub very easily. Down side is that I can’t get the mobile apps working. Saving and reading using the browser works very well though.
Appreciation of L.T.C. Rolf
Wonderful piece by Kai Roberts, An Appreciation of Weird Fiction of L.T.C. Rolt.
“To anybody who lives amidst relics of the Industrial Revolution, the surroundings depicted in a number of Rolt’s tales should be very recognisable indeed and little evokes a sense of desolation and existential dread quite as effectively as decaying industrial architecture.”
Discovered this in Oxfam this morning. Very pleased. It’s a themed anthology of texts about animals from the early 1970s. With a stylish cover by Ivan Atanasoft, there’s a real sense that a great deal of thought went into the curation of the book’s design. Some striking interior images, including one of a working horse collapsing in a street. I’m trying to get hold of as many of books like this from the (Golden Age?) of English teaching before the introduction of the National Curriculum. Moving Creatures is part of the English Project series edited by Geoffrey Summerfield.
My professional reading for next week arrived today, Robin Alexander’s A Dialogic Teaching Companion.
After Year 11 went
I’m glad I ignored their protests at the start and didn’t have a “fun last lesson” with my Year 11 class today. Instead, we staged a role-play debate on the issue of hunting with groups taking the roles of various lobby groups and a panel of judges. As the debate went on many became quite embroiled in the argument. It was great to see many remain in role presenting viewpoints they didn’t personally agree with. I’m hoping a number of the students go on to study A-level Lit.
The Art of Hergé
Great to see these volumes of The Art of Hergé arrive this evening. Ordered them from a Scottish shop called Paper Tiger. I can never get enough Tintin.
I’m not going to get a chance to watch this 4 hour 4k epic until the weekend. The kids will have to battle me for the TV!