Posts by author: joel

We have been spending a lot of time shopping for saris this last week: dozens of folded silks and cottons flung open into as many colours, patterns and textures. Interesting emotional effect. Sometimes I leave feeling invigorated and inspired by a particular sequence of colours. Other times I leave feeling sickened and worn down. What part of my brain is responding like this?


  1. The best place to sleep at Heathrow is Terminal 1, according to insiders. Most spacious, most seats.
  2. The Starbucks in T3 departures stays open around the clock, to serve staff – “because employees need their coffee fix.”
  3. “You make your own luck” (overheard).
  4. The jet ban from Heathrow after 11.30pm can be waived in certain circumstances.
  5. The world is very, very small.
  6. It’s not the waiting, it’s the not knowing.
  7. There is only one duty manager for all five Heathrow terminals, even in the middle of travel chaos.
  8. Extreme circumstances make people communicative and good-natured (for the most part).
  9. There are power sockets in the floors if you look hard enough.
  10. Twitter is the best way of keeping up to date with what’s happening at all the airports. Not staff.
  11. A new term, to describe a distinctly British titillation providing a fruity blend of weather-obsession, solidarity against authority and schadenfreude: “snow porn.”

Be busy, be too busy. Have too many things to do. That way at least some of them will get done, and those will be the ones you look back on and are glad about. If you don’t have enough to do you’ll end up not doing anything of note.


If classical music resonates with us because it rehearses, on a more or less explicit level, the underlying sounds of nature
water rushing
rocks falling
leaves rustling

then electronic music echoes the sounds of our systems-driven world today
traffic lights
the internet
lorries reversing
neon flickering

and is therefore closer to where we are, more intimate to us.


Arcade Fire + Google Street View + Etch-a-Sketch =


When two couples are encountering problems,
Indolence is more dangerous than activity.
Even if the problems of the indolent couple are less serious,
And the active couple is on the brink of collapse,
The active couple has a better chance of survival.
The indolent couple will not change.

– Master Sun’s Art of ‘Wife Swap’



But imagine if we had a thousand, or a hundred thousand.



Something sacred about getting his hair cut, this half hour of enforced blindness, his glasses folded away on the ledge in front of him. A half hour of meditation. He closes his eyes to the blurred reflection in the mirror and takes stock instead of the sounds around him, the piped pop music, the hairdryers, the snip of scissors; accepts the sensation of another man’s hands in his hair, of cuttings settling on his face, in his ears, down his neck.