Joy! It's Saturday. There is very little to be done this weekend, except to let go and lay back into it . There's an overflowing recycling bin to empty, and that's about it. I can't believe we're only 3 weeks into the New Year. For me, January seems to have lasted about 2 months. On the 12th, my Granny died. Just a few days after I wrote about her, and then just five days later we were saying goodbye to her, with a service on a a beautifully frosty Saturday morning a few miles outside of Bristol. We burned her incense in the chapel before everybody arrived and even though I knew she was in that box at the front, it still felt like she was going to walk in, return from a holiday just in time for the festivities. We tried not to slip on the frosty flagstones. I shared big, tight hugs with her ex-boyfriends, even the ones I felt embarrassed around as a child, and it felt completely right. My Mum and I were among the six pallbearers, and carrying my Granny's coffin was probably one of my proudest moments. I know Granny liked the idea of a clan of incredibly handsome young men carrying her, but Mum has never let the women of the family get relegated by the (few) men taking the best jobs. It was a perfect send off, from Leonard Cohen's Anthem right down to the comedy moment when five pallbearers faced one way, with the sixth turned in the opposite direction as we prepared to carry her out. "To me, to you!" That gave the chapel the good laugh, and put the fun into funeral. We carried Granny out to Enough Is Enough, her coffin threaded with green foliage, purple lisianthus and yellow tulips. "No pink", we'd said. I balanced the oak on my shoulders, resisting the temptation to throw disco fingers, and tried not to trip over Cousin James's feet in front of me, or let my mules slide out from under my feet. We passed my Dad as we went through the door; he hadn't seen Granny for years, and didn't really say goodbye and we both had wet eyes. We all went home, with a car full of bouquets and willows in vases and delicious mustardy sausages all wrapped up in tin foil left over from the wake, and collapsed in front of the woodburner in our pyjamas, drinking red wine and letting it all wash over us, tossing us and soothing us.
"A lot of people knew my grandmother to be as nice as pie, just as a lot of people knew my mother as an incredibly talented theatre arts administrator and overall fun person to be around. Neither of these observations was objectively wrong, they just weren't the whole story. But there again, what can you say to that? In the history of the world, a whole story has never been told." It's amazing what the living expect of the dying by Meghan Baum.
"There are the soldiers and sailors pulling a night shift for no good reason other than orders, photographing themselves and their comrades on the verge of sleep or already under. Cops in noirish black and white, their pictures framed to show a bit of badge. And nurses. A lot of nurses." Instagram's Graveyard Shift by Jeff Sharlet.
"When you do that thing where you disappear and don't answer your phone for an entire evening- that really upsets me. Maybe not everyone would be upset by that, and maybe you don't think it's a big deal, but that's a sore spot for me." Karley Sciortino goes to couples therapy.
Gosh, this is good. Jon Ronson and film-maker Adam Curtis exchanging emails about power, the "mutual grooming" of social media, and why we ignore modern crimes. Adam Curtis amazes me as somebody who seems to see the things we don't, the warning signs that we miss (when we become too wrapped up in ourselves, or entertainment) with such effortless clarify. I found this email exchange fascinating, and can't wait for his 2 1/2 epic Bitter Lake. Jon Ronson in conversation with Adam Curtis.
Pitchfork's Bjork interview, which I'm saving for a quiet moment this weekend.
A compilation of early footage of Joni Mitchell on Canadian television show "Let's Sing Out"
Ruf Dug's LN-CC mix.
Tabu by Michel Legrand, aka the soundtrack to your early 1960s roadtrip.
Nowness x Apartamento Magazine apartment tours. Somewhat disappointingly the subjects seem to be exclusively rich, with a remarkable amount of contemporary art and modernist furniture. But how can you resist Christiaan Houtenbos and his dressing gown.
Odd Pears patterned socks that come in 'pairs' of three, so you can dress mis-matched or straight-laced, depending on your mood.
If you listen to just one thing, make it this. My new hero Ellen Burstyn on Anna Sale's Death, Sex and Money podcast.
Debbie Millman's Design Matters podcast, with guest Maria Popova, of Brain Pickings.