Sightseeing #5

I haven't done a sightseeing post in a little while, and I kind of like them, so I thought I'd do another. I've noticed a lot of people talking about the same things at the same time recently – which I find fascinating – and some things that are completely different but have certain characteristics that link them together. So, here are a couple of things that caught my eye recently.

1. Motivational Music Mixes
The work I've been doing lately has been gradually moving away from aggressive reading (i.e. book editing – it often feels like aggressive reading to me) to things that don't require the 'words' part of my brain. This means that I can finally listen to music with lyrics while I'm working without getting distracted. I noticed that Anna at Door Sixteen and Kate of For Me, For You both posted motivational, anti-procrastinatory work mixes recently, both of which are so, so good. Kate's mix is great for introductions to new music while productively working away, while Anna's mix is perfect for a serious motivational hit (which is something I regularly require). 


2. Blogging Honestly
I noticed a lot of posts about blogging honestly in the last week of February too. Personally, I spend a lot of time worrying about this blog and where it's going etc, and it has been so interesting to read others' perspectives. Kate (I try not to post about the same person twice when I do these posts, but as Kate started this all off for me, I have to make an exception!) posted about putting a regular series of hers on hold last week, linking to a Brian Ferry post on the honesty of lifestyle photography, which I absolutely agree with, while Hila at Le Projet d'Amour posted about blogging the 'perfected life' and the honesty in that.

I find it quite interesting that I've worried a bit about linking to these posts, because linking to something not 100% positive feels quite strange, but I think that's actually part of the positivity plot of the blogging world: it's actually so important to balance things out a little. It also makes me realise that it's perfectly normal to consider the direction your blog is taking, and perfectly acceptable to change it if it isn't working for you, which is enormously reassuring.

3. Anonymity in the City
A week or so ago, I read this New York Times article about an ex-barista – retired from coffee and working on his career as a writer, but still being recognised in the street for his coffee – and really loved it. Anyone who has ever worked in a cafe, I'm sure, can identify with the story – and it reminded me of the many times I've avoided the eyes of old regulars when I pass them in the street, despite the fact that I can still remember their coffee orders four years on. 

For me, that wish to keep a certain (past) part of your life anonymous, contrasted perfectly with Vic's recent project 'An Extra Day', which I absolutely love. Her idea was to use February's extra day to meet 24 new people in London – one for every extra hour.

What I love about this, and what made me relate it to the barista in the NYT, was that they are essentially both about anonymity in the city: instead of assuming knowledge of a person and blustering on, as the people in the article do, Vic takes time to really connect with the anonymous people she meets, distilling them into a perfectly succinct and insightful line or two. My favourites were probably Tom, the Polish civil engineer working in a toy shop and Whytnee, who had nothing left to do but say goodbye. The portraits are beautiful.

In other news, last week I did a very short interview for new site the Everygirl, which can be found here, if you would like to read it!


  1. Summarizing a week's worth of blog reads - what a great idea!

  2. Thanks so much for your kind words about my little project. You really got what we were trying to do. People in London rarely talk to each other and it's easy to forget that everyone is interesting, we all have a story to tell.

  3. It was a strange fluke, my post alongside Kate and Brian's. Maybe there's something in the air. Everyone I talk to is feeling it lately, it's odd. It is perfectly okay to change a blog in any way we feel like and talk about blogging honestly. Sometimes I think we create this idea in our heads about "our readers" and think that the blog is a slave to its audience. It isn't, it can be what we want it to be. That being said, I appreciate anyone and everyone who reads my blog - I think I've said this a million times, but sometimes I do really sit back and wonder why anyone bothers to read my blog.

    I love Vic's project, what a gem! And now I'm off to read your interview ...

  4. I loved the NYT article! So good. With the 'blogging honestly' posts I think you are linking to something positive - the honesty is positive. Also, very excited that you're going to see the Hockney. I want to go again (like nine more times). x

  5. There must certainly be something in the air; my blog has been going through several changes, too. Thanks for this fantastic collection. I'm off to take a closer look at each of the links you provided - starting with Anonymity in the City, which is an incredibly interesting topic and ever-relevant to a city dweller.


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