This is a round up of personal news and some of my ‘discoveries’ of the month, interesting art, tech tools, and ‘shareworthy’ stuff. Hopefully, you find something worthy of your time in there.
Megan and I are engaged! I proposed on 3.3.2019 which is probably an auspicious number, and was certainly an unforgettable day 🙂
We started it by a scooter ride up north, a chill session on a beach, and we carried on to Koh Kho Kaoh which is a mildly remote island, on which we found some almost deserted resort and beaches. I am so grateful, proud and so incredibly happy to have such a wonderful woman in my life… To many more days of lasting happiness and joy, cheers!
In February, I received the notification of my selection to integrate a “craftsman village” opening in Vallon Pont d’Arc, a beautiful and touristy place in the south of France. I had applied for this opportunity in December, because it sounded like a great way to ramp up my THC leather craft business. I decided to go for it, told my employer I would quit after serving 1 month notice, and started planning for the crazy number of things I would need to do before opening a personal workshop space and shared boutique late April…
That goes without saying, this added to my physically taxing job as a scuba diving instructor, and resulted pretty quickly in a near burn-out. After reconsidering the financial investment, the time commitment and overall level of risk for this venture, I decided to finally not pursue this path and finish the diving season here in Khao Lak. I learned two important lessons along the way:
- do not confuse the greatness of an opportunity and your readiness for it.
- do not announce “decisions” around to family, friends, employers, colleagues, until you are 100% certain it is really happening.
I still love leathercraft and can’t wait to be back at the work table, but it is only realistic for me to let myself some more time to ramp up my skills and business before I go pro with it. One day, maybe. Still planning to launch my website with a selection of items I will work on this summer: stay tuned!
A pretty intense month of February succeeded to lacklustre January and we got pretty busy on the boat and on land. Out of more than a hundred of dives this quarter, I noticed an increase in shark sightings, and the biggest fellows seemed to be coming back: the Mantas were with us this last week at Koh Bon and Koh Tachai!
Like every year, I visit online my favourite record shop in the world, the legendary Rough Trade records of London. They publish a list of albums of the year that I never fail to explore and listen to every single album in the list (Deezer or Spotify helps a lot in this), and extract my personal favourites. Here are my finds:
Caroline Rose – Loner
A debut album with an intoxicatingly fresh pop rock, filled with cleverly used synthetisers, sarcastic lyrics, on “More of the same” Jeannie becomes a Mum”, with some deeper accents on tunes like “Animal” and “To Die Today” make it a great listen throughout the whole album.
Good tech : Loop
I am convinced that deposit schemes are the “back to the future” solutions that we need to go for, worldwide, to reason our consumption of goods. US company Loop has engaged with some major US FMCG companies to start providing reusable containers. Let’s see how this will be progressing and how systematic a system it becomes for these companies…
My “greenwashing” alarm bells are on standby. Why? Because I see these companies selling their products in the smallest possible packaging to adress the wider possible market in other developing economies like Thailand.
So are these giants giving a soothing treatment to their picky western consumers only, whilst carrying business as usual everywhere else? Or is a profound change happening within these companies? I can only hope for the latter.
Jack London – Martin Eden
My interest in London got revived by a fantastic blog series from Art of Manliness on this legendary man. Reading this book, inspired by the man’s life is an extremely inspiring journey for all those who love writing. Martin Eden pushed the passion of learning, the passion for art, and purest form of love to its farthest extremities. How does that go with his class and everyday society? The powerful writing style and delightful vocabulary make for a very exciting read of the main character’s adventurous, raw, complete life, whilst also raising questions about class mindsets, a man’s evolution through them, the pursuit of true art, loyalty, … Thank you Jack.
Lawrence Lessig – Free Culture
What is copyright? What is piracy? How does culture propagate? To what extent does technology help cultural diffusion? Can it limit it too?
This book, important for whoever interested in culture & media at large, asks these questions and sheds some light on the current and historical debates around cultural property, its sharing, and its monetisation.
In my little time spent on land, I love to watch some intersting talks and interviews, especially in French on the cultural channel “Thinkerview“. This particular place on the net, gives a voice to various knowledgeable people over a long duration to discuss ongoing important topics (politics, environment, social, geopolitics, …), with a full focus on the interviewee (you don’t even see the interviewer). It provides me with much intellectual matter to ponder on, and in french too (which I miss hearing a lot, not having any french friend here).
I was particularly impressed with Gael Giraud (economic director of french development agency AFD), Jean-Christophe Picard (director of France’s main anti-corruption NGO Anticor), and the discussion between Jancovici and Bihouix
Hearing the truth about important subjects from well versed experts is actually soothing. It’s now when I open traditional mainstream media that I get upset by the amount of partially treated information. But I’m not one to give up on this. The more I feel the pressure on our liberties, the more I am compelled to read and learn more. Maybe to take more action too?