It doesn't really matter how good you are at something, if you do that thing in isolation without feedback from peers or an audience, you'll quickly stagnate.

I'm seeing more and more clearly that my career progression has continued to stall by being in a team of one far too many times. Difficult tasks scare me, familiar tasks are comforting, and I'm always sure that my work sucks.

Constructive criticism to improve, praise to confirm ability.

It's just not happening today. I have ideas, but everything I hate tried to write about has been a massive struggle. Last week of work was intense, with long days and plate spinning, the team changing, and going a long way down the wrong path and realising my mistake last thing on a Friday.

I very nearly worked on Saturday to try and get ahead, but I am just about climbing out from under a heavy bag of burnout and I have no desire to crawl back under.

So instead, in letting YouTube do its thing, I learned that Michael Imperioli owns a guitar whose neck was made from wood pulled from the Chelsea Hotel during renovation. Not something I needed to know, but I like that I now know it.

Driving in central London has a particular frequency. Traffic lights keep the flow, cars and bikes flow around busses and cyclists, from main roads to narrow back streets, parallel parking and fees.

The A1 starts as a busy city street and moves north, growing into 4 lane highways and heading all the way to Edinburgh.

These facts about my first drum teacher are so absurd, you'd be forgiven for thinking I made them up:

  • Lived with is parents
  • Drove a Ferrari
  • Owned a power boat named 'wet dream', which was on his parent's driveway
  • His regular gig was pre-disgrace Gary Glitter
  • He was the touring drummer for Take That at the beginning, but quit because he didn't think it would go anywhere

Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

Samuel Johnson. It wasn't too long ago that I really agreed with this. While living in London, or having recently left and doing everything I could to get back. My younger self would have been amazed that I get to visit occasionally on my company's dime, but this visit was spent mostly avoiding being there.

Long work days are to be expected, but despite being out the office at 6pm with the freedom to do whatever I'd like, what I did was stay in my room. I couldn't face it, and not that I find the population and transport and navigation overwhelming it's more than the feeling I had some years ago—that the city is a vessel for memories of happier times—that had faded, is now back with a vengeance.

I'm working on shedding those feelings like taking off a cloak. Maybe next time.

There hasn't been a show for a long time where I watch an episode a second or even third time the same day as seeing that episode the first time.

The second season of The Bear has three. Honeydew, Fishes, and Forks are perfect. No notes. Flawless.

Book review: The Creative Act: A Way of Being, by Rick Rubin.

You don't need to be a painter or musician or poet to find value in this book. Anyone who makes creative decisions can learn a lot of about thinking about how and what to create, and creative decisions can include writing code, building spreadsheets, design, woodworking. Anything that produces something new.

A large portion of this book is about Stoicism. Letting things happen and not feeling the need to control every detail is an aspect of creativity that can feel counter intuitive, but ideas and works come from the universe in one form and need to be shaped into another to become workable.

I am a VERY slow reader for various reasons, and I have been churning this book for a few months. But I feel as if this is a good way to consume this book; chapters are short and concise, and work well as a bite-sized tapas of creative guidance. I'll 100% read this again and still not feel the need to rush it.