Finding diamonds in the rough
Things are hard right now, let's look at the positives
I’m feeling a little uninspired this week. Most weeks, I approach this newsletter with a topic in mind. But every so often, a day comes along when I feel like a squeezed-out sponge. This is one of those days.
Coming to the end of what is looking like our busiest and most profitable month ever at Content By The Sea, we should really take the time to reflect on our success and give ourselves a little pat on the back. In reality, we will probably just dive straight back into work on 1st April and the cycle starts all over again.
I think it’s no coincidence that there is a lot going on in the world at the moment, not least the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the two year anniversary of lockdown, the cost of living crisis and rising fuel prices are just some of the things bouncing around in the back of my head. Put those alongside Mother’s Day this past weekend and this oddly unpredictable weather, I’ve found myself in a right pickle.
So, instead of spending a further second ruminating on why things are all a bit weird, let’s just chat about some really great things that happened this week.
CODA won Best Film at the Academy Awards
Perhaps overshadowed by a certain slap, CODA’s victory had me pleasantly surprised by an institution that I have been slowly losing faith in for the last few years. I used to care who won at the Oscars, but in recent years I'd rarely do more than a cursory Google Search the morning after.
Despite some pretty hefty contenders, CODA took home the award thus drawing mainstream attention to a film that was likely sidelined due to its majority deaf cast. I first watched it in the midst of morning sickness hormones back in the autumn, so I found myself crying when I’m usually not moved to tears by anything on the big (or little) screen.
I’m looking forward to watching this one again with Craig and revisiting a moving and interesting portrayal of a deaf family living in working-class America.
Specky Scribbler came to town
Michelle (Specky Scribbler) and her partner Daire ventured from Edinburgh to Newcastle on a day trip on what turned out to be a beautifully sunny Saturday. We met them for coffee and showed them the wonders of Newcastle’s Grainger Market before tucking into Snackwallah on the grass at Blackfriars.
We were having so much fun that we forgot to take any photos, but this is just another reason why freelancing is my favourite thing - it’s not just my job, but it’s a way of meeting awesome like-minded people.
Potter started massage therapy
Our eldest rescue greyhound Potter recently received his first injection for osteoarthritis and has since started massage therapy. Leg and hip injuries are common among retired racing dogs as they are often forced to race weekly for a number of years. If you know me at all, then it’ll be no surprise that I’m against greyhound racing - in fact, I don’t support animal sports of any kind. Seeing the toll these activities take on dogs bodies (and these are the lucky ones who survive) will always break my heart.
Potter is turning nine soon, and what he lacks in mobility he makes up for in spirit, so you can imagine our joy when he was offered a very effective (if not expensive) steroid injection for his stiff joints. At the time of writing this, he’s sleeping off his first massage from an expert canine massage therapist, and it’s looking like a combination of medical intervention, TLC, and rest will have him feeling his six-year-old self in no time.
Our most profitable month ever
Did I mention March has been the biggest month in Content By The Sea’s two-year history? Since Craig joined in September 2020, we’ve seen steady growth and very few quiet months (great for business, not always great for our mental health). This spring has brought with it a swathe of new clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, insurance and health.
So, if you’ve read this far, do me a favour. Take a few minutes to think about some of the things that have put a smile on your face recently. It could be anything from a good slice of cake to a series of consecutive green lights or a new client win, and tweet me them over at @ContentByTheSea.
📚 Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc - A really interesting non-fiction book looking at the representation of disabilities in fairy tales and how that has shifted into modern cinema, particularly Disney.
📚 Animal by Lisa Taddeo - Not sure I can fairly include this in the “enjoyed” section as it was a wild ride that I found difficult to read at times, but Taddeo’s writing style is really engaging and if you like books about unlikeable people (such as Boy Parts by Eliza Clark) then this will be right up your street. Not recommended ready for pregnant people or the faint-hearted.
📚 Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata - From a dislikeable narrator to an endearing one, Murata tells the tale of Keiko, a 36-year-old woman who works part-time in a convenience store. At first, the way she sees the world seems a little odd but as this short book progresses, you realise that Keiko really does have some things right (and the rest of us could learn a thing or two from her perculiar). It’s never clearly stated but I would probably put this under the category of neurodiverse narrators, so one to consider if that’s of interest to you.
📺 High Fidelity (Prime Video) - So, they made a TV show adapting one of my favourite books and films of my teenage years. I was enamoured with High Fidelity from a young age - the introspection, the soundtrack, John Cusack… that film truly had it all. This modern adaptation is a little stiff at first but soon finds its own way. It also boasts a great cast led by the formidable Zoë Kravitz, whose mother Lisa Bonet was in the original film.
That’s all from me this week. Hopefully, next week’s email will have a little more substance.
See you next Wednesday with more musings on topics that are important to me, including but not limited to: mental health, work/life balance, internet culture, and much more.
Enjoyed this? You might like these past issues:
16th March: The future of this newsletter
9th March: Don’t shoot the messenger
2nd March: How to stay informed without going mad
23rd February: This is how it’s always been
16 February: You can only do your best
26 January: The way to a person’s heart
19 January: How do you work?
12 January: Being a morning person is overrated
5 January: Treading lightly into 2022
15 December: How do you compare?
8 December: Lessons on mental health from Henry Cavill