Not using a phone taught me what a phone is really for. It’s not for communicating with other people, getting directions, reading articles, looking at pictures, shopping for products, or playing games. A phone is a device for muting the anxieties proper to being alive. This is what all its functions and features ultimately achieve: cameras deliver you from time, GPS abstracts you out of space, and an all-consuming screen that keeps you a constant safe distance from yourself. If there’s something you’re worried or upset about, you can simply hide behind your phone and it will all go away. One third of adults say they’re on their phones almost constantly. Their entire waking lives are spent filling time, plastering over the gaps, burning up one day after another, waiting for something to happen, and it never does. From here but via here. I have that bold text and ‘screening out consciousness’ stuck in my head.

Think “Bluey,” but stuff that isn’t “Bluey.”

A newsletter about the books, shows, games, etc. that spark kids’ imagination, stoke their creativity, and liberate their minds. Think “Bluey,” but stuff that isn’t “Bluey.”

https://writsmall.substack.com/p/today-by-julie-morstad

Seems right up my street that.

In related Bluey news. We watched the extended Bluey episode The Sign this week. My two loved it a lot. It also featured the Zen Farmer story and we’ve been coming back to that a lot since we watched it. Made me think of one of my favourite books - Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth - which also includes the story. Interesting to see the episode pop up on the Stoicism subreddit too.

10000 steps by 10am. Getting up at 5am to ruck 6km with 20kg is one of the highlights of my week. Really takes me out of my own head.

Apple Fitness ringsApple Watch Activity

They aren’t even real and it’s still me looking after them

exasperated man holding 3 toy dogs

Day 12: Magic. I searched magic and the wood is there in the picture but also, it’s two of my favourite ladies.

girl and lady playing air hockey

Day 11: Sky

Day 10: Train in Yangshuo, Guilin. I do like the Chinese train system. Completely different to the UK, more like taking a plane. You wait upstairs until shortly before departure and then head downstairs to your platform.

Front of a Chinese high speed train with a mountain in the background

Day 9: Crisp fat. It’s not British bacon but it’ll have to do.

Chopsticks moving pieces of frying pork

Day 8: Prevention. Moved this guy away from a place many students walk today, to somewhere that was hopefully safer!

I had an idea to record something about each of the words of the days, but I’m not brave enough. I was going to write instead. That well-being, for me at least, is tied into the things that are important to me. Though, in a sense, the things that are important to me I don’t have any choice about. These things come first. Inevitably, my mind goes to this poem by Kennith Koch that Austin Kleon posted. You want it all? You can’t have it all. Don’t try!

Day 7 well being is eating delicious food.

Chongqing bbq.

Finished reading: How Children Fail by John Holt 📚
So many thoughts about this. He’s very critical of schooling as a whole and I’m part of that. Yet, I feel like I agree with lots of what he says. And I don’t know where that leaves me.

Day 6: Windy. This location is the first place I thought of when I read the prompt for today. Stood on a windy hill in Devon with Elise 7 years ago.

Man and a baby overlooking the sea and a small village

Grateful for getting out and doing my Saturday morning ruck this morning. Started a little later than usual and was still sore from going hard on Thursday but that’s mostly gone now. Funny that.

Day 5: Serene 📷 Always loved swings. Such a simple pleasure.

Girl leaning back on a swing.

We, as a family use Apple Music because that’s what I pay for and we’re happy enough. The only thing that tempts me to switch to Spotify is that shared playlists online always use that, never Apple Music.

Day 4: foliage 📷

Breaking routine loops
Stepping outside well worn habits
Finding something new!

Have finally logged out of Twitter. The line I was giving myself that there was useful info about teaching just feels hollow now. So much disagreement. My time would be better spent elsewhere, offline probably.

Day 3 📷 Card. Hua Hua is famous in Chengdu for her antics. The sign said the queue to see her was 2 hours so we skipped it. Overheard the queue was only an hour… But they just saw her butt! A postcard had to do.

Day 2: Flowers 📷 We went to see the pandas but just saw lots of panda butts.

Day 1: #toy Elise’s skateboard coach gave her this toy. I guess it has a proper name? Though I don’t know what. Can catch it like this now!

Very much enjoying The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin on Apple TV+. Noel Fielding plays himself and I’m ok with that. It’s very silly and full of well know Brits. 📺

Getting up at 4:45 to ruck 6km with 20kg in my overly expensive rucksack (get it?!) followed by a Gatorade outside the little shop by the bus stop is one of the highlights of my week.