Michael Ashcroft

Thinking out Loud No. 47 // Friday 3 September 2021 // Read time: 4 mins

Hello everyone!

After last week’s creative outburst (aka a newsletter and some notes), I thought I’d maintain the momentum and write another one this week. Wild, I know.

In this issue I talk mainly about the conflict inherent in yearning for long term travel while also yearning for a home. There are also some links of mine and others at the end.

Being pulled in two directions

I tweeted a tweet yesterday that got a little traction (for me) and I have more to say about it.

First, some context. I moved to London for university in October 2006. Technically I moved back to London, because I lived in its suburbs from ages 0 to 4, but I wasn’t particularly conscious for most of that time. That means that, as of next month, I will have lived in central London for fifteen years.

Fifteen years is a long time by anyone’s reckoning, and obviously it’s confronting me with some, you know, truths. I’ve always longed to do some long-term, slow, world travel. The stay in one place for a couple of months kind of thing, not just a couple of weeks’ holiday here and there kind of thing.

I yearn for the sunshine, I yearn for the food, I yearn for the new experiences, cultures and people. I have been in one place for far too long.

And yet I turn 34 in December.

Now, I know, I know, 34 is a perfectly respectable age, youthful even, some might go as far as to say vital. I have no beef with being 34, though I still have four months left and you can’t take those away from me.

But let’s be honest, other things start happening around this age. No, I’m not talking about the ear hair, that better not happen for at least another twenty years, I swear to whichever god will listen. I’m talking about a general, slightly nebulous, yet unmistakeable sentiment shift towards nesting. You know, physical communities and roots and all that.

I don’t own a home; I am a dues-paying member of generation rent. I would like to own a home, though, fill it with many books and build a badass studio where I can make my things. I would like a big garden so I can be in the sun more and grow misshapen vegetables.

Yet I know I will always regret it if I don’t embrace the part of me that wants, finally, to go far, far away, even starting at 34, even if I end up hating it, even if I get food poisoning everywhere, even if I get lonely. I need to do it.

Perhaps I’ll find some solution that makes both parts of me happy. If I had loads of money, I would buy a nice place to use as a ‘base’ and travel for a few months at a time, knowing I could return home whenever I wanted. Right now that feels like an unattainable level of riches; it's possible, but out of reach for a while.

Until then, or until some other direction reveals itself, I shall honour both sides of the conflict. I want to do some long term travel and I want to build a home. These two things can both be true at once, even if their realisation can't be, and that’s okay.

Some things I made

Notes:

A thing someone else made

When Fake Growth Leads to Real Violence | Part 2 by Jake Orthwein.

If you click no other link then click this one. Hell, ignore my notes above if that makes it more tempting. This 16 minute YouTube video explores Eric Weinstein's ideas about growth, stagnation, and political fakery and is just exceptional. Oh, it’s also a part 2. Watch part 1 first.

In my opinion, Jake is a 1M+ subscriber YouTuber who just happens to have 2.56k subscribers at the moment. Don’t forget to like, subscribe and show your friends.

Video upgrade incoming

As you may know I make YouTube videos (again, in an on again, off again kind of way) and for this I’ve been using the great, but decidedly entry-level Canon M50 as my primary camera.

I bought the M50 this time last year to film the first version of my Alexander Technique course and mess around on YouTube. It’s a good camera and I have no regrets in buying it, but I’ve been getting increasingly annoyed by it. I also use it for Zoom calls, and the interface between camera and computer is quite buggy.

So I decided to re-commit to the fact that I still intend to be doing *gestures around* this kind of stuff in the coming years, and that better kit is better than not better kit, which means I bought a fancier camera. Please welcome my Sony a7c with 16-35mm F2.8 lens! 🥳👏

Okay that’s all for this time! Hopefully in the next issue there’ll be some even prettier YouTube videos coming your way.

Michael

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I publish a newsletter called Thinking Out Loud, which chronicles my journey as an online maker of things, but it's also is where I talk about whatever I'm interested in at the time.​ There are 900 of us now, come play!