I have a silly sense of satisfaction whenever some theory I’d empirically made up (such as the blurb of Mediterranean weather around my home town) proves to be scientifically accurate, or at least has hard evidence pointing towards it. Daylight saving arrangements have always made me miserable and given me a sort of hangover for at least one week after they happened, and I’ve always intuitively felt that I am a much better me (if such a thing is possible at all) on days when I wake up without an alarm, irrespective of whether it’s an early or late awakening. It therefore greatly pleased me when I bumped into this article which dissects the way we handle, or should be handling our oh so precious time.
I’ve also been somewhat averse to sunscreen- obviously not on the beach under the blazing sun- but daily use of a chemical compound seemed suspicious to me, plus I have also become convinced that the fact that I am always most miserable late January to mid-February (so literally NOW) has something to do with the lack of natural sunlight. I therefore greeted these developments with a satisfied I told you so grin. This is of course a topic bound to stir storms of emotions, just as Netflix’s Marie Kondo show pitted the declutterers against the hoarders, in a neverending should I keep or should I throw debate. While I am a bit of a magpie myself, I have come to the conclusion that too many objects can indeed weigh on you both physically and emotionally, and there again seems to be some science backing this stance. I’ll close the divisive chapter of this month’s log with Christian Bale thanking Satan and concluding that all those who were horrified by it are humourless bores, plus I’m also keeping my fingers crossed for him during February’s Oscars, as I have a passionate dislike of Bohemian Rhapsody and everything connected to it on which I may elaborate further in the next installment.
Hopping over to music, the NME team has actually come up with a list that makes sense, namely one of 100 promising artists for 2019, which I’ve taken to meticulously study (currently halfway into letter G) and have found many to my liking, and then there’s a long(ish) read about Billie Eilish too, who’s also featured on the list and makes great music at an almost obscenely young age. In case you thought you’d escape some gratuitous swooning over one of my favourite bands, the answer is a confident NO and please also revel in this wonderfully summery-dreamy-candy coloured video from Troye Sivan.
Moving on to the photography section, here are some atmospheric snaps from the Ozarks (I always loved the way the name Ozark sounded and was terribly disappointed by how much the series with the same named bored me), a poignant and personal insight into recent history by Koen Wessing, a visual inventory of structures we build to keep each other away and National Geographic making me totally infatuated with the idea of visiting the Greek island of Amorgos, home to one nun and a number of scenes from my first great film crush, Le grand bleu (the title in French an organic part of its charm).
The bits and bobs section contains some Japanese firework sketches, a very knowledgeable man talking in a very compelling manner about the compelling subject of beer, thus becoming my role model at efficient beer snobbery, an instagram profile with inventive Pantone colours, an analysis of how The Egg conquered the world and the section’s crown jewel,the kind of inconsequential news item I absolutely adore, this time around, the giant scandal engulfing the world of pétanque, which seemed to me such a sedate affair when I photographed some people dedicating themselves to this magnetic sport in the Luxembourg gardens.
Somewhat surprisingly, this month has only two literary themed entries, namely writing advice from Haruki Murakami (speaking of Murakami, one of his short stories inspired the brilliant Korean film Burning, highly recommended as opposed to most of the Oscar fodder circulating these days) and an informative piece about one of my prominent literary villains, Count Vronsky (the bastard kills the horse, the novel lost me right there) whose real-life inspiration seems to have extensively pottered around Serbia. Thus sliding into the travel/architecture topic, a piece about Helsinki’s central library, which looks fairly stunning, a list of great opera houses around the world (my remarks: the buildings may be spectacular, but opera gives me the hives, so I mostly use operas all over the world as landmarks for orienteering around the city. Also, the Scala is ridiculously underwhelming), an ode to Bauhaus plus five Bauhaus inspired designs (Bauhaus turns 100 this year and may well be one of my favourite architectural movements, so you’ll hear a lot more about it in the future, until then, in some shameless self promotion, here’s our piece on Bauhaus in Újlipótváros). Finally, this here list of best European cities is from 2014, so it could even be considered dated, had Vienna not been chosen as the world’s most livable last year as well. And Vienna is also an excuse for this White Lies video, given that I’ll be seeing them at the Ottakringer Brauerei in early March.
Wintry procrastination, and a bout of the compulsory seasonal viral infection also meant that I did not get to do much exploring round the city, bar one incidental walk in Városliget, which resulted in the below feeble attempts at photography. Finally, the soundtrack for this piece was provided mainly by three artists with new albums out this month: James Blake’s Assume Form, William Tyler’s Go West and Sharon Van Etten’s Remind Me Tomorrow.