Monthly Archives: July 2021

32 Country Pubs
We moved out of London a little while back, and we’re now camped in the Midlands for a little bit. So I want to take advantage of our time in the countryside by visiting 32 country pubs. I’m not going to put any hard lines around what counts as a ‘Country’ pub – there’ll be gastropubs, old man pubs, village pubs and doggy pubs. I’ll call it with each one – but loosely… its pubs in villages and/or nature.

32 Zines and Pamphlets
I’ve loved the re-emergence of independent zines and pamphlets over the last few years. It reminds me a bit of what I was trying to do with Subculture Club – exploring niche points of views that don’t make it into mainstream media. People going deep on very particular subjects. I want to search out and read 32 of them this year.

32 Playgrounds
We spend so much time at playgrounds now – most weekends we visit. But we tend to stick to the same two or three, so I plan on using this year to explore new ones – 32 of them – rather than going to the same one every time. I’m going to include soft play within this – as I can’t rely on British weather right now…

Finished up Challenge 31, but has taken me a little while to write about it.

31 Zoom events were great. I managed to complete it in very good time. There were actually lots that didn’t end up on the list – we really enjoyed a portal into nightlife from the comfort of your own home. For parents of young children, it was brilliant.

Highlights were probably:
Campari Reopens – Panda & Sons:
The first event we did, so there might be a bit of primacy effect in here. But it all felt so exciting – the first time we’d been sent drinks through the post from a bar. And then having the bartender talk us through how to make your cocktails, and show us around Panda & Sons in Edinburgh. It was just brilliant.

Daniel Kitson – Dot Dot Dot:
Just an awesome piece of stand-up / storytelling. We missed the end the first time – the kids woke up – but we bought another ticket and watched it later in the run, because it was such a compelling watch. It captured the novelty, frustration, intensity and despair of lockdown so perfectly.

Notting Hill Carnival – Panology Steel band session:
We actually watched quite a bit of the carnival online, but this session in particular stuck in the mind. We had it on whilst we cooked dinner, and it was such an enjoyable evening.

New album challenge was brilliant – I felt like it managed to shake me out of a rut and get me listening to some new things. I’m going to try and continue it indefinitely. Black Keys’ Delta Kream was a real highlight, as was Laura Marling’s Song for our daughter. Greta Van Fleet’s The Battle at Garden’s Gate was enjoyable, in a guilty pleasure kinda way too.

The Bread bakes challenge didn’t happen. I did about ten, quite quickly, but struggled to get the kids interested, as most of the recipes were too complicated. And couldn’t find time to do it all by myself. Another time, perhaps.