23Feb

More Whisky Links

Kilchoman
As many of you will know, most of my blogging energies go into my whisky website these days, which is going really well. Google Analytics tells me there are anywhere between 18,000 and 20,000 page views a month, and I’ve now reached over a hundred regular subscribers by RSS.

I recently interviewed the guys behind a whisky auction website, Just Whisky. Auctions are booming at the moment as more and more people get into collecting whisky. I reviewed two heavily peated Bruichladdich whiskies, which were sent as hefty samples (always nice).

This Kilchoman travel retail whisky is recommended if you’re passing through an airport. This Mortlach whisky is really for rich people looking to waste money. And here’s a bonus Bourbon from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

I’m also using Instagram a lot for whisky nonsense as well.

14Feb

Allotment 2015

Allotment
This is the first day this year we’ve ventured to the allotment. It’s always the worst day – it’s more about cleaning up from winter than gardening. But it was still satisfying. We managed to prune, compost, and put down plenty of woodchips for the path. That in itself made a huge psychological difference.

So nothing growing yet, but it’s ready to go. And I’d forgotten just how good and real the aches actually feel.

11Feb

If I Die on Mars

This is a genuinely fascinating video from the Guardian. “Three volunteers are on the shortlist to be among four people on the Mars One programme, the first manned space flight to Mars – a one-way trip that’s effectively a suicide mission. A physics student in the UK, a young doctor from Mozambique and an Iraqi-American woman, all happy to sacrifice their futures for a place in history. Why do they want to leave Earth, and who are they leaving behind? As the list of potential Mars explorers is whittled down further on 16 February, meet those competing to be the first to land on the Red Planet.

As much as we’re making a mess of Earth, I do quite like it. So I doubt I could ever have the will to do this trip to Mars. But it’s a great video to see who might.

22Jan

Adam Curtis on Last Year’s News

A brilliant look at the hidden narratives behind the chaos of last year’s news, which was part of Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Wipe. I intended to post this earlier in the month, but I wasn’t sure how long it would be left up on YouTube. It’s still there. I really cannot wait to see Curtis’ new documentary series soon, which will be only available on iPlayer (giving him more creative freedom).

18Jan

Game Soundtracks

Kotaku has a list of the best game soundtracks from last year. I think it’s always worth highlighting some of these, as they make for excellent writing music (especially the Destiny game, which they highlighted). I’ve written a couple of lists myself over the years, largely film-based, but I’ve recently been enjoying a mix of old and new computer game soundtracks.

The Elder Scrolls IV and V (Oblivion and Skyrim) are absolutely superb for writing fantasy fiction, as is the Dead Space franchise and Dragon Age. Assassins Creed knock out tons of soundtracks, but can feel a bit same-y after a while. Some of the old World of Warcraft soundtracks can be fun as well.

Anything good I’m missing out on?