Arles, July 2022
Quote of the Day
”Of all the horrid, hideous notes of woe,
Sadder than owl-songs or the midnight blast,
Is that portentous phrase, ‘I told you so.’”
- Byron, Don Juan
Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news
Van Morrison | Have I told you lately
Ignore the ludicrous video that goes with it.
Long Read of the Day
If, like me, you tend to assume that barristers are wealthy professionals, then perhaps this guest post by Joanna Hardy-Susskind on the ‘Law and Policy’ blog might give you pause. It certainly had that effect on me.
Off I went. Defending people. People who had less luck, less guidance, fewer words. Many of them hoped that the courts would be fairer to them than life had been.
The words did not prepare me for the fighting. For the people I had to fight for. The terrified 14 year old girl in custody who asked me for a tampon, the shamed 55 year old who had lost his job and stolen, the addicted 21 year old with the sobbing mother, the father concealing a wobbly lip for a son who had not done his best. “Keep a professional detachment” my elders would say and I would nod before going home to lie on my bathroom floor with a rock in my heart. On and on it went. The drivers, the employees, the teachers, the students, the children, the ordinary people who thought court was no place for them until it was. Human story after human story. Stories I recognised. The grey area between right and wrong expanded. And I fought. A first court appearance then paid £35. I would have done it for free if I had not been shouldering a five-figure student debt. The cases got more serious, the money got a little better, but the relentless conveyor belt never let me exhale. I measured my success in precious ‘Tha nk You’ cards I stored safely in a box.
When luck runs low, I read them.
Do read it. And thanks to Rob Miller for alerting me to it.
An iPod revived
The story of how my cherished iPod Classic was brought back to life.
My commonplace booklet
I’m a Short Afternoon Walk and You’re Putting Way Too Much Pressure on Me
Nice satire by Emily Delaney.
Hey, it’s me: Short Afternoon Walk. As you may have noticed, you’re all turning to me an awful lot these days. Don’t get me wrong, I love what we have together, but I think we need to face the truth: I can never be everything you want me to be.
When this little routine first started, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. I was an escape. I was an adventure. I was beloved. But somewhere along the way, I became your everything.
Now, I’m both your leisure activity and your only form of exercise. I’m the last thing tethering you to reality, yet your only way of escaping it. I’m the singular effort you make to maintain your sanity and your sole means of experiencing joy, hope, and happiness. It feels as if I’m your lover, friend, and therapist all wrapped into one, and, frankly, it’s making me uncomfortable…
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