Homemade pesto, the new bike, book recommendations and bne.social – a blog

Tonight for dinner I made pesto pasta. It was made all the more delicious by the fact I grew the basil myself, in my own little urban garden, and made pesto from scratch.

My little garden has grown a lot since spring. With the new tower next door finally being built I don’t think I’m going to get any sun at all over winter. So I’m not sure how everything will go over the newly imposed seasons. But it’s best to remain in the moment and admire the basil, parsley, spinach, and multitude of chillis I’ve managed to grow.

A chilli plant. There are white flowers and little green chillis starting to grow.
My chilli plants have started to flower, and this one has little fruits forming.

So dinner was great and I feel very accomplished even though the pasta was store-bought.

Today was any other day. It’s January 26th and I made the decision to work today and take tomorrow off. Part tokenistic, part wanted the long weekend, and partly because I have a bunch of work on my plate at the moment and wanted a chance to get it done in peace.

But let’s not talk about work.

I wanted to write a little retro because it feels like I haven’t been up to much, but I know I have and wanna get it all down.

Time for a new bike

In big news I broke my bike. Snapped the frame nearly in two.

I faffed around for months before finally getting myself a bike fit and starting the process of building a bike that’s gonna last me the next ten years. Unfortunately we’re in a bit of a supply chain crisis at the moment, so looking at months lead time with no bike I picked myself up a cheaper single-speed to get me by.

It’s been an absolute treat.

Truth be told now I have my single speed I’m not entirely sure what I want from my next bike. I know being a heavier guy I’m gonna destroy this one, which is why I want to build something more solid.

But I’m really loving the simplicity of the single-speed system, as well as how powerful it makes me feel climbing hills in entirely the wrong gear. It’s really good exercise. Follow me on Strava if you’re so inclined.

Reading is what?

Over the new year break I had a week to myself and I was driving myself up the wall. Not because of boredom, but with panic that I couldn’t work out what to do with myself. So I picked up a book.

A few, actually. I’ve been really enjoying reading again. This year I’ve gone through:

  • Tom Ballard’s I Millenial – I don’t even know how to summarise this one, other than to say it’s a neat summary of what led to our current day political clusterfuck through a socialist lens. It was a surprise, a joy, and led nicely into the next:
  • The Big Switch by Saul Griffith. It’s a pretty plainly laid out argument that Australia can take action on climate change right now with current technology by replacing all our fossil powered machines with electric ones, putting solar on our roofs, using electric cars to power our houses at night, and save huge amounts of money in the long run. Obviously there’s nuances, but the point is to go all in on the technologies we currently have, while we develop the solutions to the harder climate problems. And the government is listening.
  • I also picked up Stephen Fry’s Mythos which was interesting because I’d never studied greek mythology before, and it was an okay introduction to it. I found it a bit of a slow going, something about milllenia-old stories not having all the hooks of a modern page-turner. But it was interesting connecting the dots on concepts that trace back all the way back.

I think e-ink

After getting excited about it I put in an order for a Kobo reader from JB. The only ones in stock were all the way down on the Gold Coast so I scooted to the train just in time for them to call me to say there’s an error and they don’t have it after all.

A Kobo ereader on the couch showing Tim Richards Heading South book in black & white. there's a bright pink cable coming out the side.

So I sat with the thought and eventually talked myself out of the cheaper device and into the Kobo Elipsa, which finally arrived the other day. And honestly it’s pretty great.

I’ve got three books on the go:

  • Pictured is Heading South by Tim Richards. It’s a travel journal along the second-longest rail journey in Australia, from Queensland to Western Australia. (Fun* fact, the longest is from Queensland to the Northern Territory just due to the inefficient route, but that’s not as exciting)
  • At Tae’s recommendation I’m reading Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club. It’s funny, very easy to read, and I can’t wait to find out whodunnit.
  • I’ve also picked up the latest episode of Meanjin on a whim. I don’t know if it’s my usual style but I’ve been enjoying the short essays and different perspectives, and wanted to see how to transfer an ebook onto the Kobo 😆

The Kobo itself is great. I didn’t think I’d use the notetaking nearly as much as I have been, but it’s very slick. I’ve found myself making little checklists and notes that I’d ordinarily add to my phone, as well as keeping my workday organised. Maybe it’s a write-off!

Then there’s the social network

Josh and I have been running bne.social for coming up on a year now. I haven’t written about it yet even though I’ve been meaning to because I don’t know quite how to sum it up.

It’s basically like Twitter without the nazis and the queerphobia, and it’s run by volunteers around the world rather than being owned by one single billionaire idiot. It’s not without its problems but most people agree it’s a Nice Place where the interactions are genuine and it’s not filled with Brands.

I’d encourage you to hop over and make an account and hang out with us! We’re going to organise a meetup or Brisbane folks at some point, so don’t miss out.

A cartoon of a mastodon in a summer hat at South Bank as an ibis swoops in to steal a chip.

Yeah that’s about it I suppose

I dunno, things are good. There’s more I could write about; my perfection of the banana-blueberry smoothie, the way I’ve optimised the lighting in my apartment to keep my indoor plants alive, the absolute classic CDs I picked up at the lifeline bookfest.

But for now I wanna go read some more The Thursday Murder Club and go to sleep, cos tomorrow the long weekend starts and I have a bike ride to do!