That Claddagh Farms Mozzarella

Neal and I made this.  Well Neal made it and I ponced around in purple rubber gloves stretching it pathetically and needing a lot of lot of help.  it was great fun.  Then Neal hung it up in his smokehouse (a big wooden chimney next to the barn – yeah a wooden chimney, go figure) and in the morning it was lovely and smoky and cold and ready to be munched.

I thought the decent thing to do was to pass it on to my next host.  So I gave it to Sanford.  However in the morning i had a littlle pang of remorse (or perhaps hunger) and felt the need to grab a slice and taste it so that I could at least tell you honestly what it tasted like.


I’ve never been involved in the making of something so delectable. It was creamy and smoky and soft on the inside, you know like real smoked mozzarella you might spend serious money on.  I was sorely tempted to sneak it back out of Sanford’s fridge and take it with me, but I’m a good boy I am.

I don’t know for sure where it is now, but if it had been left in my fridge it would all have gone within a day.

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman

Speed & Decisions

On the first day I was in San Francisco I was advised “You need to give people more time to help you”.

One of the key bits of character building in this trip has been letting go of impatience, allowing things to happen in their own time.   Allowing the route to unfold in its own time.  Allowing people to get in touch, or not, when they were able to.  Asking for help and receiving it when it came rather than hassling people for an answer so that I could feel better.

In the decision-making process I tried not to give unrealistic deadlines.  I tried to say “These are the options I see, I’m going to wait a reasonable amount of time (at least 8 hours, though I never articulated it like this) and then I’m going to make a decision with the information I have”

That meant that on occasions I was making decisions with no new information.  At this point I was left wondering “Have I given them enough time?  Will I get anything from waiting any longer?” and then press on with the best information I had at the time.

Because of the way I’d chosen to travel, I couldn’t always leave things to the last minute.  There are a finite number of seats on a train and Amtrak don’t oversell and let people stand – when faced with a full train in Milwaukee, I kept trying until I got a seat – when I was heading for Washington from Chicago I just took a slightly later, longer journey.

All in all, I became aware that my judgement of how long it should take to make a decision was not nearly as long as it needed to be.  I often felt stressed and worried that if things weren’t going to my schedule, they were going “wrong” but again and again, it all worked out beautifully.

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman

PRECISION: Why Merica Adams

Over the weekend I really enjoyed watching @sizemore and some chums making a sci-fi short in 48 hours for the Sci Fi London Film Festival 48 hours competition.  I was even more impressed when I saw what they came up with.

Mike opened up to questions on his blog and I asked about where the name of the girl, Merica Adams came from.  I’m always fascinated by how writers choose character names.

Says Mike:

“Good question. To quote the first episode of Joss Whedon’s ANGEL, “It started with a girl.”

Years and years ago I met a girl in a bar who was called Merica. I was enthralled by the name and the fact that she had a tattoo in an interesting place. Never came across the name since and I’ve been looking for a character to christen Merica from then until now.

Adams was just a good strong name like Flash GORDON or Buck ROGERS, but also a nod to Adam Strange. Perfect combination I think. Her name is never said aloud in the short, but we did have some tank crew voices talking to her in Hungarian that never made the final cut.

Maybe we’ll do a director’s cut and get them back in…”


Originally posted on Lloyd’s posterous

What’s the worst that can happen?

One of my most consistent creative blocks is thinking about how what I’m making is going to be received.  I can go round and round in circles in my head for ages worrying about this or that. (Btw it’s one of the reasons I try to write longhand and then type-up rather than type straight in to a machine that’s designed for editing rather than composition.)

This morning I was writing and the thought came “What’s the worst that can happen?” and after I had a couple of little fantasies about my favourite critics’ put-down lines, I wrote “nothing”.  Exactly.  *That’s* the worst that can happen: I hit publish/send/tweet/upload and I get *nothing* back.   I’m much more bothered by silence in the face of publication than having my errors pointed out or by someone’s silly misinterpretation or misunderstanding of what I’m trying to say.

Why? Because I interpret that silence as indifference or hostility.  Hostility so strong that there’s just nothing to say or the fear that I’ve written something so meh that people can’t even be bothered to work out how to type “tut”.  The silence of eyes rolling.

How about a more supportive interpretation?  What am I doing when I’m being quiet (not just online, but all the time)? Often, I’m just being, breathing quietly and being aware of my breath.  Listening, processing but not necessarily reacting immediately.  What if the network were like that?  What if silence could mean acceptance, appreciation, assimilation of ideas?



Originally posted on Lloyd’s posterous