BletheringNews

Beginning the year

Things move remarkably fast in a pandemic, but as fast as they move they seem to crawl ever so slowly too. Some things in my life ground to a halt, and others – quite unexpectedly – took over again quickly.

To be candid, 2020 did a number on my mental health and for many reasons more than that Pop-up Books had, what can only be described as, a year off.

By April, confined to my city centre flat, I’d written the best part of a solo album, however, by the time I’d moved across to Bielany to live with my partner, I’d given it everything I had and until now hadn’t much more to give it. So on this very hard-drive there is an album sans vocals and garnish that I plan to finish over the next few months. I can say one thing about it… It’s heavy on the jangle. There are many Rickenbackers.

When football came back mid-pandemic, it did so with a surprising benefit. The lack of fans at the matches meant lower-league teams had to find ways of broadcasting their games. Live-streams became common and for the first time in over a decade, I have been able to watch Airdrieonians week-on-week in the Scottish first division. So that kept me occupied until, inevitably, the lower leagues in Scotland were suspended as the infections began to rise again.

Anyway, Jules, Tomek, and I have been talking and it’s very much our intention to get the band back up on its feet. We’re working on a surprising cover version remotely and hopefully that’ll get us started again. For now though, we’ll just wait and see what happens.

Brexit happened. That sucks. It’s turning out to be as disastrous as expected. Here’s hoping for Scottish independence before too long.

This year, I’ve kicked off season 2 of my Radio Kapitał show, “Neil Milton Listens To…“. January, we’re listening to music from Live albums. Episode 1 was Scottish-focused and Episode 2 is everything else.

The most surprising turn-around of the pandemic was my return to photography as a purely creative endeavour. I’ve been spending hours roaming around Bielany, Młociny, Żoliborz, and elsewhere with a couple of film cameras just to see what comes of it. It’s the most creatively excited I’ve been for a while. I’ve got my eye on a Leica M6 just need to wait for February pay-day and then we’re off to the races, as it were.

To go along with that, I decided to build a new website to get some of my old photography online, write some material for my students, and to occasionally blog about some projects too. If you’re that way inclined, please jump over to photography.neilmilton.co.uk to see what’s there.

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