British moths illustration

war of nature’s best of 2019

One of the toughest and yet also one of the best years ever. Mum hospitalised and then in a home with dementia, daughter’s ex in major accident, brother in law stroke, friend with a brain tumour, lost job and started a new one, set up 2 businesses, revived a community group and did a load of voluntary work, crashed car, did certificates at OU and UC Berkeley, completed coaching certificate, got fitter and stronger than I’ve ever been.

Best music

And so finally it happened. A year without a ‘best albums’ list.

A number of factors at play. Stuff (see above) meant a lack of time for whole album listening. The increasing rise of the podcast and my addiction to all things surf and coaching pod related. Less music bought, more Spotify listened, more shuffling, less stickingwithit.

So far so not unusual, but not sure I’m that happy about it. Something to address in 2020. A personal ‘slow music’ movement, perhaps.

Image result for ufof

Big Thief stood out, album-wise. Sebadoh. Dave. Cate Le Bon. Chris Cohen (still so desperately underrated). Sarah McCoy a new find and star voice in waiting. There were tons of good tunes though – a link here.

Best podcasts

Image result for this american life

  1. This American Life still the classest of acts
  2. Surf splendor consistently interesting and absorbing shapers and surfers
  3. The Paddle Out right on legend Cheyne Horan get great guests
  4. Pod Aloha gentle podcast with surf legends hosted by Paul Strauch
  5. The science of happiness concise and clever and practical
  6. Under the skin with Russell Brand back catalogue still free
  7. Where should we begin with Esther Perel family and sex therapy, live
  8. Star Coach Show helpful and practical coaching if you’re selective
  9. It’s not the length much silliness and laugh out loud – wasted on non-surfers

Best gigs

  1. Sebadoh, Patterns, Brighton
  2. Nick Cave in Conversation, Brighton Dome
  3. Chris Cohen, Green Door Store, Brighton
  4. Beak>, Concorde 2, Brighton
  5. Snapped Ankles, Concorde 2, Brighton
  6. Gonzales with Sarah McCoy, Brighton Dome
  7. Fontaines DC, Concorde 2, Brighton
  8. Adam Ant, Brighton Centre

Best books read

Image result for cities of the plain

  1. Cities of the plain – Cormac McCarthy (Jeez finally finished the trilogy!)
  2. The worst journey in the world – Apsley Cherry-Garrard
  3. The desert and the sea – Michael Scott Moore
  4. Around the world in 80 trees – Jonathan Drori
  5. Man’s search for meaning – Victor Frankl
  6. The lonely Londoners – Sam Selvon
  7. A rumour of war – Philip Caputo
  8. Your brain on nature – Eva Selhub
  9. The inner game of tennis – Tim Gallwey
  10. Beastie Boys book – Adam Horowitz and Michael Diamond