Weeknotes 2022.39: back on this curséd isle

Weeknotes 2022.39: back on this curséd isle

I’m back from holiday. There will be photos once my film has been developed. Venice is a truly spectacular city and I really want to go back soon and see the bits I missed.

My flight back to Gatwick was the first time I’ve been on a plane in 4 years. The experience of airports remains as awful and stress inducing as ever. We saw a nice sunset though.

I did not enjoy watching the value of the pound versus the euro drop day by day with every morning we were abroad—thanks, Liz and Kwasi. For stupid reasons (leaving my hat on the train and getting blisters on my feet) I also ended up bringing back enough shopping from Italy to have to declare it to customs—something I wouldn’t have had to do before 2020. Thanks, Boris. Party of fiscal responsibility?

I had my first moment of film heartbreak while on holiday—the Ektar 100 I loaded for days 2-3 in Venice didn’t take up properly. I suspected something was wrong when I’d “managed” 40 exposures and the advance lever was offering no resistance. I rewound, got a spring and then a total lack of resistance after only one turn, and realised that the shot I’d been pleased with yesterday, of the reflection on the gondolier’s sunglasses from yesterday had never been committed to celluloid. Alas. (I made an excuse to divert via a traghetto again on our last day for another attempt on Portra 160. We’ll see how those come out.)

I’ve been enjoying this video about the “passive income” grift I’ve been seeing pre-roll ads for over the last year or so. From the moment I saw ads about “crazy loopholes to make money online with Audible, Amazon’s best kept secret” I guessed it must involve something like hiring gig economy workers to narrate public domain books and so on, but I wasn’t exactly sure how the scam worked. (It certainly seems like there’s been an uptick in “make money online” scams, stock/property/crypto trading adverts, etc. almost everywhere. Sign of the times, I guess.) What is quite startling is how fast the ghostwriters have to work. I’m working on a long post for this blog (a review of the Halo TV show) and that’s eventually fallen out at about 18,000 words: most of the time I spent writing it was researching and fact checking to back up my rampant speculation. The ghostwriters exploited to produce these spam audiobooks are effectively given a month to write 25,000 words. That’s absurd.