Filming my life, one second at a time

Long, long ago, I spent the evening of 31 December 2019 with my family. As midnight approached, we all stared at the clock, preparing to count down to the start of the new decade.

My brother’s girlfriend grabbed her phone. She wanted to film the countdown – not the whole thing, just the last second.

The second, she explained, was for an app called 1 Second Everyday. 1SE is essentially a video journal. It gives you a calendar to populate with individual one-second videos, then compiles them into a montage. It lets you document your life, not for social media, but for your own satisfaction and reflection. She showed us her 2019 video – fragments of her reading books, meeting friends, running for the bus – all together building a vision of her everyday life.

This sounded like fun to me. I didn’t know if I’d stick with it, but I downloaded the app anyway, then went outside and filmed one second of fireworks.

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Let’s tour my Animal Crossing: New Horizons island!

It’s been less than four weeks since Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out, and I’ve already played more than 135 hours of it. For years, I’d been saying that when this game came out, I wouldn’t want to do anything else – I wanted to stay on my sofa with the Switch, never leaving the house, ignoring everything else in my life.

And another finger on the monkey’s paw curled. Sorry folks, I guess this was my fault.

For those of you who’ve somehow avoided the Animal Crossing frenzy of the past month, it’s a series of games which comedian Ron Funches once described as “I am the human mayor of an animal town”. In New Horizons, you are the “island representative” rather than the mayor, but it’s pretty much the same. You settle on a deserted island with your talking animal buddies – mine is named Sugarloaf. Then it’s up to you to develop the island, plant flowers, decorate your house, go fishing, and so on. It all plays out in realtime and the island changes with the time of day and the seasons. The game is very, very chill, and I think everyone agrees the timing of its release really couldn’t be better.

New Horizons has some new features for the series which I was very excited about: you can place furniture outside, and you can terraform the island. (I have ascended from Mayor to God.) So much of my 135+ hour playtime has been spent decking my island out, and making it a nice place to putter around catching butterflies and doing the gardening.

I am pretty proud of how it is looking now, so I thought I’d do a tour and show off what I’ve been working on.

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Screaming about Neal Stephenson and wolves in the middle of the night

A crescent moon. Photo by Haseesh Rahithya on Unsplash.

As I write this, it is 1.30am, and I cannot sleep.

Inside me, there are two wolves, and the wolves are locked in an eternal battle.

The battle is because one of the wolves thinks Seveneves by Neal Stephenson is great, and the other wolf thinks it’s shit.

This war has been raging for two years now, ever since I read the book, and it still drives me to distraction on a regular basis, and so here is a blog post to try to settle this furious internal disagreement and make the wolves shut up.

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New Year, new me?

I am a bit of a New Year’s girl. I’m not talking about New Year’s Eve, with the idea of parties, champagne and midnight kisses (or, more accurately for me, some board games). I mean the first day of the year, where you have a fresh 365 (or 366) days to look forward to. It feels like a nice blank slate. A fresh start. All the stress and buzz of the holidays has passed, and I feel like I can settle into a groove again.

But my favourite part of the New Year has always been New Year’s resolutions. “This is it,” I tell myself. “This is the year when I will really sort my shit out.” For the self-improvement addict, New Years is kind of like Halloween – who do I want to go as this year? Maybe I’ll pretend to be someone who does life drawing, works out regularly, and has a consistent morning routine. If I wear the costume long enough, I may become it.

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