I don't often post day logs, but I figured some of you probably wonder occasionally about what goes on in my life, and maybe we're not friends on facebook or LiveJournal, or maybe you just want the edited highlights or whatever, so here we go.
First off, I moved to London. Some years after the end of the relationship that first brought me to Edinburgh, I moved out of the town and back to the city of my birth. I stayed for one last Samhuinn - for which I made a giant wolf puppet, my favourite of my puppets so far. After that, I moved back down to Archway to stay with my parents and my friend Andy (who posted a writeup here once, many years before we met). My parents are getting old, and both of my brothers have had kids, so I was starting to feel like I was just too far away from my family.
I also had a notion that it would be easier to get regular paid work here, and I wasn't wrong - within a few weeks I'd picked up a job at Camellia's Tea House, on Carnaby Street. I'm writing about and photographing tea for them, working on their web site, and blending and packing teas. I'll probably do some work in the shop selling teas, too, at some point. I posted a blog entry about the place today, including links to my writing for them, in case you miss my tea-writing.
I've also been working for an old family friend, on a new web version of 'International Times', which started in the 1960s as a radical underground newspaper. I put together the web site using WordPress, carefully making it look hardly anything like a blog. I also wrote a piece titled 'Your Move', about the way the right wing seems to have convinced people that they are basically powerless, and might as well give up trying to change the world at all. This myth has largely fallen apart in recent years, since the world is changing, radically, whether we like it or not - but it's now up to us all to make sure it changes for the better.
What else? I've been making a lot more music - as a guitar and ukulele player I am now only moderately crap, and as a piano player I'm much better than I would have expected after only a couple of weeks of regular practice. I like to think that I've been making good progress there largely because I have sunk a great deal of time into an interactive chord diagram generator, Chordate, which I made in Processing. This has given me a pretty solid grounding in most of the parts of music theory having to do with chords and harmony, and playing with my creation has allowed me to familiarise myself with all kinds of different chords. I hope other people find it useful too. I have grand visions of where I want to go with it, but I'm pretty happy with where it is now, too.
Meanwhile I've been re-acquainting myself with C++ - in particular openFrameworks - a project inspired by Processing, designed to making creative programming as easy as possible. As much as Java has improved in the last decade, it still can't match the speed of C++. Also, openFrameworks can output apps for the iPad and iPhone; Processing already does Android, which I like better on principle, but it would be nice to be able to cover all the smart phone bases.