Distraction Sickness

“Just look around you — at the people crouched over their phones as they walk the streets, or drive their cars, or walk their dogs, or play with their children. Observe yourself in line for coffee, or in a quick work break, or driving, or even just going to the bathroom. Visit an airport and see the sea of craned necks and dead eyes. We have gone from looking up and around to constantly looking down.”

– Andrew Sullivan – My Distraction Sickness and Yours

The Spy Who Loved Me Opening Sequence

When I was seven my Mum and I spent a weekend with my Aunt and Uncle at their flat in Harrow. My Uncle was evidently tasked with entertaining me whilst my Mum caught up with her sister and he wisely decided upon the cinema.

We were queueing to buy our tickets for a long forgotten Disney film which may explain the look of palpable relief on my Uncle’s face when I pointed to the The Spy Who Loved Me poster and said “I want to see that!”. Tickets were  bought, and back we went that evening to join a queue that wrapped right around the cinema.

This was the first Bond film I saw on the big screen, I remember a fabulous building with a screen twice the size of our local cinemas. But my strongest and fondest memory is of the now famous opening sequence, and a riotous round of applause and cheers from the audience as Bond’s parachute unfurled to reveal the Union Jack.

Now that’s how cinema should be.

The Meaning of Being From Three Great Philosophers

philosophers

“To do is to be” – Nietzsche

“To be is to do” – Kant

“Do be do be do” – Sinatra

Long Ambients1: Calm. Sleep. by Moby

moby-ambient-la

I do love a bit of “ambient gubbins” as Mark and Lard used to call it. From Brian Eno to the Monument Valley soundtrack, ambient music is my soundtrack of choice for working, writing or just staring out of the window thinking.

Over the years Moby has released some lovely ambient music, including ambient versions of his albums Wait for Me and Hotel. Earlier this year Moby released a pure ambient album entitled Long Ambients1: Calm. Sleep.

Of Long Ambients1 Moby said “over the last couple of years I’ve been making really really really quiet music to listen to when I do yoga or sleep or meditate or panic. I ended up with 4 hours of music and have decided to give it away.”

That’s right Long Ambients1 is free and well worth a download.

Bellroy Micro Sleeve Review

The lovely people at Bellroy recently asked me if I’d like to take a look at their new Micro Sleeve wallet. Now as you know I have a minimal wallet habit and having been intrigued by the Micro Sleeve since it’s release I happily said yes.

bellroy-micro-sleeve-review

I’ve been using the Bellroy Micro Sleeve as my “daily carry” (I know) and thought I’d share my thoughts with you dear reader.

Design and Construction

The Bellroy Micro Sleeve is designed to hold between two to four cards plus a few folded bank notes. At the moment I’m not travelling much, and only need to cary my bank card and my Drivers Licence for ID, which makes the Micro Sleeve just about perfect.

The Micro Sleeve has two slots on the outside for your cards and a single pocket in between for your cash – squeezing the ends of the Micro Sleeve opens up the cash pocket allowing easy access to your cash.

This design made me think of the simple coin pockets we had as kids back in the 70s day. Made from plastic, and generally branded with pictures the Smurfs or Snoopy, the top was kept closed by two flat steel springs, you squeezed the ends to open the pocket, which when you had finished would close with a snap somewhere between satisfying and terrifying in its ferocity.

I had initially assumed that the Micro Sleeve used a stiffener of some sort to create the spring loading of the cash slot, but after a couple of weeks in a moment of idle examination I noticed that it is in fact just leather.

bellroy-micro-sleeve-review-note-slot

The whole wallet is two sheets of leather folded and glued and sewn together, the springiness comes from the leather itself and the opening is controlled by a cleverly placed slit on each side of the inside of the wallet.

The only issue I have with the design isn’t really an issue with the design… It’s an issue I’ve mentioned before, the comedically large bank notes we have here in the UK requiring each note has to be folded three times for it to fit the Micro Sleeve cash slot. So when carrying more than a few notes the slim profile of the Micro Sleeve can be affected and we wouldn’t want that. The sooner cash is no longer required the better.

bellroy-micro-sleeve-review-pound-note-problem

The Micro Sleeve is made from some of the nicest leather I’ve seen, I wonder if the quality and inherent stiffness of the leather is needed to facilitate the spring design and ensure it’s longevity.

I’ve been using the Micro Sleeve for four weeks or so and it’s wearing beautifully. I fully expect the outside to take on a lovely patina as it wears over time – a future candidate for Aged to Perfection.

The Colour

I usually buy black accessories, but you may remember I was really adventurous with the Bellroy Elements Phone Pocket and chose grey.

Bellroy have a lovely range of colours for the Micro Sleeve and so this time I went “full disco” and chose the frankly gorgeous Caramel.

bellroy-micro-sleeve-review-patina

Caramel is a beautiful colour and is twinned with a darker chocolate brown on the front of the wallet for a very stylish and classic combination. I chose Caramel as I hoped it would age nicely, adding depth of colour and based on the first few weeks it looks as though it will.

Final Thoughts

I have tried a number of slim or minimal wallets over the last few years and the Bellroy Micro Sleeve is without doubt the best designed, best constructed and frankly nicest of them all.

The simplicity, cleverness and elegance of the design of the Micro Sleeve make me love it even more.

If you are looking to slim your wallet I highly recommend the Bellroy Micro Sleeve, it’s a real beauty.

A Pub Run Like A Bank

I love this video, it really brings home the level of poor customer service so many people apparently accept from their banks, utility companies, service providers etc.

The Death of the Music Video Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

I thought the art of the music video was a dying a slow death as whenever I skip through the music channels I see formulaic videos of scantily clad women, blinged up artistes and borrowed Bentleys. But this lunchtime I’ve stumbled across two fantastic videos which suggest the stories of video’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

The first is Voodoo Blood from Massive Attack which features an incredible performance from Rosamund Pike. This video is up there with UNKLE’s Rabbit In Your Headlights for disturbing subterranean visuals.

Next is Wide Open from The Chemical Brothers with Beck on vocals; one of the most engaging and clever pieces of work I’ve seen in a while – look for the Chemical’s very subtle cameo.

There is a fascinating making of video that shows how the effects were achieved and the amount of work that went into making this piece of art.

I find it interesting that both videos are from established artists who’ve been around since the heydays of the music video. It’s good to see there is still the desire to make something creative and compelling.

Jamie T – Sheila

I heard this track on the radio this morning, and was reminded of the great video featuring the wonderful Bob Hoskins.

Welcome to Cornwall

cornwall roadsign

Obviously Photoshopped but also so very true. Cornwall is one of my favourite places and to me the almost complete lack of phone and data coverage is a feature not an issue.