|013| Summer drifting

This week month as it was to me

It’s alread a clumsy subheading so I’m not fussed that I’ve piggled it further. Still, a month. Wow.

In this month, I have mainly been doing everything, it seems. 

Among other things, I turned 40.

Birthday printable marshmallows.

On the day, I wandered the coast around St Mary’s Island while listening to Hildegard of Bingen. I took some photos. I live in a beautiful part of the world.

I also had guests from the US, so we did some exploring together including Alnwick castle (take 2) and hitting the fish shack in Amble. I am missing some photos atm. But hey, I got one of a seal, so.

I also powered on with the job. I’m enjoying working in the NHS a lot and think I’m doing good.

This weekend the lady and I went to the Dilston Physic Garden which is a herbalist’s delight. Complete with labyrinth and sculpture garden. 

Art and Improv

The American visit led to a terrific show and class. Kevin is a loveable and hilarious guy who slotted into our house format without any effort. We had a cool experimental middle section and then me K and John (also visiting) did some terrific fun organic improvisation. Class was busting at the seams, both with participants and content and laughter. Yay!

Two of my favourite dum-dums

Also Will and I went down to Edinburgh festival and steeped ourselves in the goodness. Drove up mid-morning Saturday, down again after midnight on Sunday, after seeing 14 shows. Lots of people doing well that I knew from the clown/improv world; we were one seat shy of getting to see Jordan do what he does. John Henry put on a show that was a great end to our festival. I would pay for a chapbook of poetry that simply contained his ode to Die Hard, which sends prickles up the spine. Also, his take on Thomas the Tank Engine chimes with mine and Alan Chapman’s, namely that it’s a horrible little set-up that shouldn’t be anywhere near kids.

Other highlights were Vulvarine, The Half and Famous Puppet Death Scenes.

Branches outward

In upstate New York, a DMT-inspired psychedelic temple rises

And of course, it’s Alex and Allyson Gray. I get their newsletter – had one of their posters up on my wall in Germany – and should pull up Alex’s audio book on the creative process, it had some good stuff in it. Alex is best known in my circles for contributing art to Tool’s album Lateralus.

The gang at Trust which I visited in February are starting to roll out videos. I haven’t had a chance to watch this yet so it’s as much a placeholder for me as anything. Bound to be interesting though. Benjamin H. Bratton on ideologies beyond the human

Hulbert and Anderson found that while those in the high and low trauma groups were equally good at learning the initial word associations, those in the high trauma group showed superior performance on the subsequent “No Think” trials, indicating they had a “robust ability” to forget the specific response words when required to do so. This held for both neutral and negative words, “suggesting that this effect reflects a generalised skill at suppression, regardless of valence,” the researchers write. 

For some, experiencing trauma may act as a form of cognitive training that increases their mental control

Trauma is looking like it may be a thing that I apply a lot of my attention to going forward, so I am all for people sending me anything to look at that speaks to it.


Everything from before – need to switch to finishing mode before the year escapes me entirely. Plus Adrian Wells’ Cognitive Therapy of Anxiety Disorders which is a firm ride into CBT territory. I come into this field without a huge regard for CBT but reading Wells’ take there is a lot to agree with. Behavioural experiments, reframing, exploring and bottoming out assumptions, and making sure everything is in the service of addressing the misunderstandings being made puts it closer to the Socratic tradition I am generally into.

 Also Take it Easy, an easy improv book that I generally agree with but as a consequence isn’t adding much to my picture.

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