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Recently

Some things I’ve enjoyed in December, as 2022 slumped to a close. This post has largely been inspired, (stolen) off Tom MacWright’s semi-regular ‘Recently’ series of posts.

Watching

There’s not a lot of time to watch long dramatic things with a small child; there is no guarantee you’ll have an evening at all, let alone a full hour of undisturbed peace.

We did however, manage to get through 1899, Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar’s followup to the magnificent Dark on Netflix. Luckily we finished it before Netflix cancelled the series. 1899 wasn’t as good as Dark - lightning in a bottle and all that - but it was perfectly fine and was going in an interesting direction. I was hoping for something more in tone to The Terror; a period drama with monsters. 1899 isn’t that, but there should be more of those.

We watched Joe Lycett’s More More More, an absolute delight. The less you know going in, the better.

Taskmaster’s New Year Treat on Channel 4. Taskmaster is a joy and even the presence of Tory Ghoul Carol Vorderman can’t damage the good natured fun. Mo Farah seems like a nice man.

Reading

Desert Oracle: Volume 1. Desert Oracle is a collection of journal entries, wandering histories and weird diversions from the Mojave desert, originally published as an occasional periodical of the same name, out of Joshua Tree, California. Stories of the Yucca Man, lost tourists, and secret military bases, Desert Oracle is a love letter to the great wilderness of the American Southwest. I also highly recommended the accompanying Desert Oracle Radio, a podcast presented by Ken Layne with his Southern drawled delivery, and ambient soundscapes. It’s really good stuff.

Playing

When I have time, I’ve been replaying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, recently re-released as the ‘Complete Edition’. I’ve completed the game, and both exceptionally excellent DLCs, but the faster loading times and 60 FPS increase makes it feel like a brand new game. I’ve also been watching my wife play Jedi: Fallen Order. I’m not particularly interested in Star Wars, but the game looks really fun; Uncharted with lightsabers.

Listening

I recently discovered Polyphia, and have been listening to their latest album Remember That You Will Die on repeat ever since. Polyphia mix intricate virtuosic guitar riffs, metal and hip hop. Ego Death feat. Steve Vai is a solid anthem to instrumental guitar music, and ABC feat. Sophia Black is the perfect ear-worm.

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross released their lovely score for Empire of Light, which is a film- I assume.

The Adam Buxton podcast: Episode 200 - Christmas Special with Joe Cornish and brief appearance of Louis Theroux is great stuff. I find the usual podcast a bit hit and miss depending on the guest, but the yearly Adam & Joe reunion is always a treat.

That Was, December 2022

Not a great year for the UK. Three prime ministers, one dead monarch and everything getting worse. I wish Charlie Brooker still made Newswipe.