Photos

Totally missed the Bellroy range of sling & cross-body bags. For years I have mainly relied on my Ona camera bag. While I like it, I know there is a better option. Can easily see myself with a couple of size options.

Several years in the making. Super excited to finally have some copies in my hand. Will go on sale next week.

Seems fitting to be leaving Canada while listening to the new Arcade Fire album.

Gonna miss this little guy, can’t see us needing/taking this to Toronto.

Issue 061 of my newsletter In Abeyance is now out. Been on a roll with the new format and schedule and have been enjoying the diversity of topics I’m covering.

First Greek style Xoriatiki I’ve ever made. 5 ingredients (flour, water, yeast, salt & olive oil). Baking it was different (in a pot and lid).

A follow-up on my presentation, another great indie typographer that I love and follow is Mika Melvas. Today he dropped a wonderful sans serif typeface, Nietos. I have used Melvas’ work on Stet (notably when you sign up to the newsletter).

The full version of issue 053 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out, Extreme Environmental Design. This one was actually meant to be published in The Prepared newsletter (this one didn’t quite fit), but I really enjoyed how this came out.

🍿 Just finished watching Turning Red. We’ve not had a family movie in a good long while. This was excellent in that it was completely different to just about every Pixar movie before it, in the best possible way.

Issue 053 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. No link to the issue yet (but you can sign up), because I am doing something a little bit different with how I publish things going forward (which I need to write about).

All the colour palettes I’ve used for my newsletter In Abeyance along with the latest colour for 2022.

BEC Vol.01 Available Now

You can grab a freshly minted copy of my first book the Built Environment Compendium Vol.01. If you are actively curious about the built environment, this book is for you.

I’ve written about how the idea behind Stet.Build came to me. I quickly set about developing the ideas on my study wall. Never shared this photo but easily one of my favourite exercises when brain storming. In the top right hand corner you can see the original sketch for what I wanted the covers to look like. Also its interesting to see my thoughts on pricing which have evolved since then.

The last year has been all about editing and polishing the script and thankfully had Mike Summers, who was the perfect editor, because he cares about the English languages and its nuances. He pushed and he prodded. He questioned and he commented. We did it all using Pages. Technology has evolved to remove incredible amounts of friction and this has been a perfect example of this. Right there baked into my phone and iPad.

Buy the digital edition of the BEC Vol.01

Creating a book for the digital age brings with it a different set of parameters to consider. The book cover is no longer a tall rectangle. Feeling good about the final book. Woo!

For prosperity. My Wordle stats for an entire month of play. Had created a bookmark on my Home Screen, which now doesn’t fully work because of the redirect to the New York Times website.

This weekend was centred around food. Cooked the kids souvlaki yesterday (home made pita, tzatziki and beefteki). A vegan sweet potato pie (which was excellent) and then topped off with an Aloo Gobi.

Issue 052 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out, ‘White Elephants’. This is the second from last major thing I wanted to get done this holiday. This is also the last issue that uses the orange colour as we move onto the lime green for 2022.

I’m not going to lie this thing turned out great. The secret (that I have somewhat avoided, unconsciously) is sesame oil in the chicken marinade. The only ingredient I was missing was some broccoli. Next time for sure.

As has become a bit of a tradition on this site, slightly new colour scheme for 2022. I’ve now settled on my sensible default backgrounds and in the future will look to only change the accent colours. For 2022 I’ve gone for lime green.

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018
my site

Every 2 years I crack open a new Nanami Cafe Note. 2021 has not been great year for the daily journaling practice. Am determined to rekindle this in 2022. Hobonichi calls their planners ‘Lifebooks’. Any book can have this title and everyone should have one.

Some baking just before Christmas. This thing turned out perfectly. Hats off to Chef Jack - the man has excellent taste in food.

Stet.Build v2.0

It has been years since I designed a completely new website. My toolbox of tricks has remained mostly the same - still using Skeleton, which I absolutely love. What has been fascinating is the scope a modern website now needs to serve. Now you have to effectively design four websites in one - desktop, tablet, mobile and dark mode.

Desktop

Version 2.0 of Stet.Build, which has seen very little love since it was launched 3 years ago, is a huge leap forward. I’m glad I took the time to make this the best it can be. I always recognised this was a major project and this has taken me around 6 months to complete (not full time of course).

The mock-ups were done in Affinity Designer - probably over a decade since I have used a vector app to design a website. For the most part I was able to replicate these. The annoying part was loosing some of the mock-ups half way through the design process due to some random name saving error. Top tip, save your work outside the Affinity system.

One of my favourite features of the new site, is the archive feature. A little bit of javascript and filtering the table like magic.

Mobile

When it came to the mobile version, I left it to serendipity and let the pieces fall. I could have spent a little time on this during the mockup stage, however I think that it worked out well in the end.

Dark Mode

This was (and remains) the biggest hurdle. This issue was that the individual artwork looked completely out of place in its native form with the bright white background. The only way around this is to recreate 51 drawings that are more suited to the darker background. This is going to be a work in progress as it is not a top priority - but will get to it all eventually. Issue 50 shows where I am heading with this.

Coding

Finished the mock ups months ago but needed the space (mentally) to dive into the coding. Certainly rusty, I leant into my constraints. My primary machine is my iPad Pro. I lost my MacBook a couple of years ago, and due to all the Apple laptop keyboard fiasco I never pressed the button. I began coding this on the iPad, but it really was an exercise in misery. Forget what they say, the iPad does not have the versatility for something like web production. Until Apple bring the Dev tools over with Safari, its all counterproductive.

The overall Blot system also made it super easy to work on the site while everything else was live. Probably the best setup for developing a website I have ever worked one. Local files that I save and see the impact direct on the site. Genius implementation.

A fun little logo I worked on last night for the upcoming Micro.blog baked-in newsletter for this site. I’ve been sitting on the kaa-pow name for a while (using it mainly as a username when kaa is not there).

Winter has truly arrived in Denmark. I will say that 2 years in, my body has become accustomed to the cold now - still truly hate the wind when it smacks in your face.

Got my Soundcore Q30s today and you can colour me super impressed. For 1/3 the price of what I paid for my Sony pair, 4 years ago, I get great sound, multiple device connectivity, ANC, an app with all the settings. Insane value. Now I just need the equivalent earbuds.

Sylvane was right. It is pretty easy to make good Asian food. You just need a great teacher (Chef Jack is the man to follow).

My coffee education continues. This time at Impact Roasters, an Ethiopian micro-roaster 10 min from my house…wait what? Kinda annoyed I only found out about this now, but also it is good timing because I can now hopefully appreciate it all the more.

🍳 Chef Jack Ovens has become an staple in my house. I love his videos because they are incredibly instructional. This creamy Thai soup transported me to my happy place. I replaced a couple of ingredients (no bean sprouts in the supermarket). Asian comfort food on a Sunday evening.

When you are currently lost for words, might as well upload photos.

After raining all week we finally got some blue skies and a bit of sun. Shame about the wind.

What was meant to be a glorious day out began in abject disaster. A flat tyre. Apparently pretty common on new Babboe bikes as they put thin puncture prone tyres by default. Soo stupid.

Issue 050 of my newsletter In Abeyance is now out. Special issue as it doesn’t dive into a specific topic, rather it provides a loose taxonomy of the built environment and categorises all the articles so far within this taxonomy.

🚲 I believe this makes us officially Danish (even though it’s a Dutch product).

Issue 049 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out, and focuses on biomimicry. This one was harder to write and finish - probably because I have not regained my rhythm since my whole iPad debacle. I also experimented a little bit, veering more on opinion than just facts and analysis.

I have really come to appreciate the Mikkeller brand of beer. Pricey but buttery smooth.

First day of school for Zane. He was so excited to get there and be part of this new world. His younger brother is certainly feeling the absence but as with all things he will learn to get used to it. On the positive he gains more attention from myself and Yasmine.

Issue 048 of In Abeyance is out. This issue is late, a first in the 2½ years of publishing. It’s hard to write when your main and then your backup work machines both fail. This knocked my writing, researching and publishing rhythm off its axis. So I took a month off. This month its all about nuclear power, Olympic beds and Muji horology.

It took me a year and a half of working at home before I decided to invest bigly in a screen for my desk. Learning from my previous mistake of not buying the largest television screen available (some 6 years ago), I decided to go all out with my latest purchase, the AOC U32P2, a name that flows of the tongue I know. The real estate is incredible. I’m reminded of this classic photo of Steve Jobs in his office. When I first saw it I thought, ‘Don’t care much for everything in this office, but what an incredible size for a screen’.

It’s been nearly 2 years without MacOS. iOS has served me reasonably well, although somethings should not be this difficult to do. More importantly my machine is in the shop to get fixed (again!). Brings me to Windows 11. Throughout all of this Windows has remained my work machine. This update looks to make my daily experience that much better.

Started working on a typeface based on my handwriting 2 years ago. Its not baked yet - because it really isn’t a priority - but it was fun to remind myself where it stands right now.

The new ‘Reading Ruler’ setting on the Kindle app is a subtle but wonderful addition to a reading app. Wish web browsers had this feature.

Slowly been amassing this beautiful range of freely available printed material across a wide range of subjects.

Issue 047 of In Abeyance is out. This issue is about Brutalism, a subject with seemingly infinite avenues to explore. Also in this issue, Art Gensler and Dieter Rams.

Not sure how this happened, but apparently I have read on my kindle every single week for a little over a year now. This is the kind of metric tracking that I can really get behind - until a couple of weeks ago I had no idea this feature existed. Looking through the log, there were a couple of weeks where I read only once. In fact the 17 day streak is a far cry from my longest streak of 89 consecutive days. That is now clearly in my crosshairs.

So been looking for some Middle Eastern ingredients (you won’t find much of this stuff at the plethora of local supermarkets). This little shop has saved the day. Pomegranate molasses! Zaatar! Foul Memdamas!

Pre-order the Built Environment Compendium Vol.1

When I set to work on Stet.Build, I knew that this was a longterm project. That the many pieces that I was putting in place would not really find their complete form until many years later.

Now three years later I am edging closer and can finally share some of the very original ideas that got me excited so long ago. The very first book, the Built Environment Compendium Vol.1 is complete and is now ready for pre-ordering. I am still in conversations with my editor for final edits to the text, which should hopefully be done within the month.

This is the first time I use Gumroad and I am actually pretty excited to see what this platform has to offer to digital content creators. Overall I like the simplicity of the platform.

Spring has finally sprung in Denmark. It feels completely overdue but totally welcome.

Can’t wait for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the other networks to send me some stickers and a handwritten card. Aaaaannny minute now I’m sure. Not that I needed a reason to be on Micro.blog. A wonderful reminder that you are dealing with real people. Thanks @jean and @manton

It’s been years since I worked on a website design in vector format (why waste my time when I can just code what is in my head). This one is different and needs a little more care and attention.

Been wanting a photo that I can use online for a while now. Thanks to my wife and a lot of patience, have a few that don’t suck.

Issue 046 of In Abeyance is out. This issue is about Shipping Container Architecture. Also features The Ocean Cleanup, Prometheus Fuels, Michael Sorkin and the Ferrule.

This issue is a little late, but I’ve been a little preoccupied with life recently. Had a lot of fun creating the artwork this time.

🧩 Puzzle time with the kids. Was never a puzzle fan, but there is therapy in a 200 piece.

Park bench & journal on a crisp unlocking day. Spring is nearly here.

So finally got an upgrade to my Swatch. While I do love that little thing, this watch from Vaer encapsulates what I have been looking for in an everyday watch. Have a longer thing to write (or maybe even talk about) soon. The tldr: its an excellent upgrade to a Timex Expedition.

I had this idea nearly a year ago. I tinkered with something on this last year. Today I finally finished my first Concise Guide. Really looking forward to sharing these with everyone.

Hoping to finishing the book this Easter weekend. Release is on target for end of May.

Issue 045 of In Abeyance is out. This issue is about Seismic Design. Also features Vortex Bladeless & Field Notes Brand.

One of the joys about spending a little longer researching and writing each article is that I get to dive in a little deeper. Get to discover a little more. Sometimes I am genuinely surprised by where the journey takes me.

It is all a little behind schedule, but it is getting very real now. Polish, polish, polish.

Issue 044 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out.This issue focuses on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, architectural practice Snøhetta and urban maps.

With this issue I am reverting back to my monthly schedule again in releasing the newsletter. Part of the struggle I have had is that I actually enjoy the researching and writing something that is a little longer form than what the bi-monthly schedule allowed.

I have decided to use Twitter in a different manner than I have previously. The idea is to share links, videos, images of the research that goes into each and every issue, as I am writing the issue. I’ll also be collecting these against a hashtag that is not being widely used. This means that in the future after you have read a specific issue you can jump onto the Twitter hashtag as a companion stream that allows you explore a topic in a different way that my 1500 word essays do.

I know this site is turning into a food log at the moment but when you dare to experiment and create, you should celebrate these small wins. My hand at some udon noodle soup.

Garlic Lemon Chicken Greek style. I have Akis to thank for this. Just reminded me of what was always readily available around me growing up. If you want to get excited about cooking Greek food, highly recommend his channel (although he does sometimes go heavy on the olive oil).

Issue 043 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This issue considers carbon capture and sequestration.

This issue was surprisingly easier to write than a lot of them in the recent past. I attribute it to the fact that Having decided what I want to write about throughout the year means that I get a bit of time to let the ideas develop.

The first issue In Abeyance for 2021 is now out. Issue 042 is now out. The issue looks ferrock, Neom’s The Line, ACME Studio’s architecture line and more. I also spent some time updating the design of the email slightly. As always you can sign up here.

First chocolate chip cookies. These things turned out perfect. Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.

Very first attempt at a snowman in probably over 20 years. Will make an even better one next time.

Issue 041 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This is the last issue of 2020 and volume 2, the purple volume. In this issue, house of the present, AuReus, circular economy and architectural watering cans.

As alway you can sign up and receive it direct in you inbox.

As has become a bit of a tradition on this site, new colour scheme for 2021.

2019

2020

2021

First copy of the Built Environment Compendium Vol.1. 2 ½ years in the making.

I’m still mulling over the quality of the printing (via Lulu). The cover colours didn’t come out anywhere near what I am looking for but still a physical thing in this world is always a good time.

Certainly not a protectionist view (I’ve never been to Estonia) and I feel patriotic for the nation that has accepted me during that period of my life, but it is nice to see anything other than the ‘Made in China’ stamp.

So we are not able to go to a bar, so we had the bar sent to us. Great evening of making 3 cocktails and I have all the gear to do more in the future! Now just need to get that alcohol smell from my desk….

Issue 040 of my email newsletter, In Abeyance is now out.

Always feels good to get an issue done. Most times I have no idea what I am going to write about until a week before it needs to go out and there is some frantic searching and banging my head against the wall for a few days. I might even get a little grumpy. This is the 23rd issue of the year and what a year it has been. Next issue is the last for the year.

From my introduction:

As a child one of my deepest fears was that of loosing my eyesight. Something about living such a life filled me first with sorrow and dread. With age that point of view transformed into admiration and respect. Throughout my life I have not had any real interaction with anyone that is visually impaired or blind. One of the only real interaction that I have had is those elements present in the built environment meant to cater to the blind. These elements have become more noticeable to me since moving to Copenhagen last year and were the clear inspiration for this week’s issue.

If you are curious about the built environment I urge you to sign up, best email on the subject you will get roughly published every two weeks — I’m trying to resolve my publishing schedule so that I can get rid of the roughly part of that sentence.

I honestly didn’t know that this was missing from my life, Korean-style egg sandwich with cheese and jam. Whhhaaaatt? It really works. Sunday mornings got transformed a little.

Issue 039 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out, The Shinkansen. This is one of those topics that practically wrote itself. I could have easily written two or three times as much. An incredibly rich topic and one I hope to expand upon in the future.

30 day photo challenge complete (only showing 27 here). Will be good to post in colour again.

Issue 038 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This one covers one of my favourite architectural and art movements, the Art Nouveau.

Hard to imagine but this is the first physical book I have bought this year, having made my transition to digital for most of my reading.

There’s a notebook for that.

Its taken a really long time but I have finally settled on my physical notebook situation that I use on a regular basis. I originally was trying to fit everything into a single book, a Hobonichi. Foolishness. No instead, what I actually needed was 5 distinct notebooks, plus a bunch of little pocket notebooks. Lets unpack that.

1 / The Sketchbook

I wish I had stumbled across this concept earlier in my life. Keep a sketchbook for exploration. Use one notebook and fill it with all the sketches, rough, finished, try different mediums, give yourself room to explore. What you might find in those pages is your style moving; shifting; growing. A visual playground of your own creation. What’s interesting about this is the first few pages are going to be poor even to your eyes. Don’t feel discouraged. Persevere and you will see yourself slowly but surely getting better.

My notebook of choice for this type of notebook is a blank A5 Midori MD.

2 / The Journal

Your thoughts are like water.

Now in my 5th year of regular journalling I don’t do this as often as I want (twice a day), but I have been carving some time out every day to go through it. This is your mental dumping ground. This is where you letter your mind write whatever it wants. The paper is not going to judge you. Better for you to write it down than let it float and bounce around your head.

For this, I have settled on the excellent sized B6 Cafe Note from Nanami paper. I’ve got a Gfeller cover that will last me years and years to come.

3 / The Writer

Turns out the best way to write articles, books or anything is to get it onto paper first. While my online writing can be captured pretty quickly in Drafts or iA Writer, when I want to work something out, the sequence of thoughts and ideas, there is nothing better than paper. For stringing these thoughts into cohesive sentences I go digital, but for working things out, I go analogue.

Although I am currently using some Muji A5 notebooks, I have a massive Seven Seas Nanami notebook waiting to be used just for this purpose. Once my current notebook is finished (probably end of the year), can shift over to the book that will last me a whole lot longer.

4 & 5 / Meeting Notes & Taskmanager

For years I employed the bullet journal method to get shit done at work. It was invaluable to me. However one of the issues is we live in an increasingly digital world and there are far to many channels. I found myself breaking the mould and away from some of the basic things that make the system useful (put the date at the top, collection of tasks for a topic, bullets for notes). It was all getting messy again. I also found the A5 notebook wasn’t getting filled out very well.

So I decided to split things a little. I have two A6 notebooks. One dedicated for just notes, ideas, whatever. The other is just to capture all of my actions into individual buckets. Every page is a channel. Whenever a task pops up I put it into one of the channels

My go to are the Hobonichi A6 notebooks. Blank and beautiful. No eccentric Japanese quotes or sketches of foxes or whatever else they have added recently to the Techo. I know this is probably part of the charm, but to be honest, I want that 20% lost paper per page to be mine.

6 / Pocket Notebooks

Finally I have been using pocket notebooks for over a decade. These go with me wherever I go. Its a practice that has served me well and even if it’s one note, its one note less bouncing in your head or worse, lost forever. I hate that.

Issue 036 of my newsletter In Abeyance is now out. This issue concentrates on adaptive façade, David Attenborough’s latest documentary, Ørsted, The 99% Invisible City and Signify.

I finally found a good place for stationary in Scandinavia, the Pen Store out in Stockholm. Ordered a couple of bottles of ink (Iroshizuku Yama-budo and Lamy Topaz), a bunch of refills and a Lamy Safari Mango (to match up with the brown ink). Package arrived within a few days in a gloriously yellow box.

🎨 001 / Doodlober

I’m certainly not partaking in ‘Inktober’ this year (because Jake Parker) but will be participating in Doodlober. I just made it up, you can use it widely and freely.

For years I have always thought that a habit tracker is a very powerful motivator. So much so I even designed one for a few years. Then I thought that maybe in a notebook. Then in an app. Then I know online.

Nothing was really working. I would loose interest. So I decided to go very lo-fi. Double page from my Field Notes with 365ish boxes. The single most important task. I might do a bigger one with several smaller tasks and put it on my wall

Issue 035 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. Leader topic for this week is submerged floating tunnels. Yes, as mad as that.

This one is a day late but issue 034 ‘On Bridges’ of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This issue equals the same number of issues sent out last year. As always the subject crept up on me but I ended up learning a lot about bridges over the last few days.

It took me weeks. It got to the point that Yasmine was sick and tired of me looking at watch websites. Endlessly navigating between different styles, then checking them out on YouTube in the hope that I would be convinced. It didn’t all finally fall into place until this morning. A watch I may have looked at before in passing.

For weeks now I have been trending towards the Certina DS-8, a more beautiful and understated timepiece you probably are unlikely to find. My problem with it wasn’t the price, it was the very fact of its appeal. It was steel (and there had heft) it was large enough to make it presence felt. I went for utility instead.

The Swatch Skinera offers me the function over form that I was desperately seeking.

Issue 033 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This issue has a decidedly Japanese flavour and touches upon circular architecture, the Hobonichi Techo, Perskovite and some vertical agriculture.

It has been several years since I worked so long on a single piece. The features available to me in Procreate allows me to experiment in a way I have never been able to do before. Looking forward to sharing the full piece eventually.

Not every day you see a bunch of balloons gliding above your head.

Sometimes you need things to focus your attention on to keep you centred.

Issue 031 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This is an important issue for me as I am changing the format a little bit to allow me to finish my book (currently finishing off chapter 07 of 12).

Mohammad El Sharif

I lost my uncle.

My mother’s face crumbled on the call. She couldn’t hold back the tears. Neither could I.

He was by and large a towering figure in my life. To understand the reverence that I held for this man is to understand my mother’s own upbringing. My uncle was the same age as my father, they were in the same class - small town Lebanon. My uncle however couldn’t finish his schooling. He had to shoulder the responsibility left by his own father. My grandfather died around the ages of 50 (heart attack) and left behind him his wife and eight children. The oldest barely in her early 20s. The youngest barely a child of 4 years old. I remember considering the weight that was on his shoulders. Yet for most of his life my uncle was a jovial character. His smile always warm. Natural.

My favourite memories that are seared into my memory however are as a child he held a special place. He loved kids. So much so that even after raising his fathers, he had seven of his own. During the years of war, he would pick us all up from the airport, an arduous journey, with a smile on his face. The best welcoming committee anyone could hope for. Optimism always shining, even when the country had fallen apart.

In that same mini bus/van he would pile all the cousins (there must have been 10 of us at a time) up and take us to the beach. Then we would go and get the best ice cream in the world (I made sure we had the same at our wedding). When we got home his work was not done, he would line us all up, hose us down from all the sand and salt water before sending us off to our mothers.

Sharp. He was a do-er. He would get shit done. I remember my mother telling me about the times her brother would come back exhausted from work after most of her family had gone to sleep. My mother would make him something to eat and off to bed. Only to wake up again before the family had woken up and repeat the cycle all over again.

He wasn’t a flamboyant character. A man who always lived in modesty. A man who lived two lives. One before and after his stroke. Things changed. There was a brief time where his mind wandered. Then there was a time where he was obsessed with the family tree. Something was lost. In life, you get one body and one mind. Sometimes parts of one fail before the other.

My mother had seen him a few days earlier. They’d talked for 20 minutes (a rarified feat), but he was getting hungry so he had to excuse himself and go. You’d get a few minutes from him here and there. Always in a seeming rush. ‘Don’t worry, we’ll catch up soon.’

My uncle Mohammad died yesteday.

Sometimes you need a good old think, a piece of paper and a pen to solve the difficult problems. Today I ‘solved’ two issues that relate back to the work I am doing on Stet.Build. The first related to the format that will unlock a bunch of things for me. The second is in how I use Twitter.

Issue 030 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This one has empathetic leadership, world energy and some analogue vs digital.

In Denmark, kids draw things as big as their imaginations allows them, with massive sticks of chalk. Temporary graffiti. Also might use that as a self portrait.

Kinda annoyed by the smudge…but only just. It’s the sort of thing that doesn’t exist in the digital world. Cmd+Z and its gone.

From earlier today. I’ve missed playing with watercolours.

For years I have been buying art supplies and notebooks and all manner of stationary. Over the last 6 months as we have settled into life in Denmark I have the time and mental space to use all this stuff. They are like small gifts my previous self gave to my current self.

Also working on something else which has been burning a hole in my head for years. The year of consolidation continues. If it wasn’t for fucking Corona, this year would/could have been awesome on so many fronts.

Working on something which has been burning a hole in my brain for a few months now.

Issue 029 of my newsletter In Abeyance tackles architectural glass. This issue marks the halfway mark of the newsletter. Like everyone else on the list I’m always interested and excited to find out what the next subject is and what I will learn.

On the road towards the culmination of 2 years work. Super excited.

Dribbble has been a source of inspiration for a while now. More importantly however is that I enjoy looking back at the work in the same way I enjoy looking back at my photos and previous posts. So I’ll try and post something new from my work in progress on a more regular basis.

I have wanted to keep a sketchbook that I actually use on a daily basis for years. I would keep these books and use them sporadically. This meant books got filled over several years. At the rate I’m going that trend will hopefully change and for once I will actually use all the stationary that I have bought over these years.

Re-seeing the Tree

Something felt off.

I put the final touches on the latest issue and then we went downstairs for the kids to play in the park. I normally take a small notebook with me and just try and collect my thoughts for a few minutes while the kids play in the sand (I hate playing in the sand). Across from me was a tree. I looked up and just thought to myself ‘I can actually see this tree. Why can’t I draw the thing?’ I could see the values, I could see details. So I went back to my favourite teacher, Alphonso Dunn. The man is arguable the best art teacher I have ever had. I recommend you buy both his books and subscribe to his channel. Its all gold.

Issue 028 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This one was different. The tock issues are usually a lighter affair, but with my renewed attention and focus I was able to expand on several subjects. Also updated the design of the email itself.

Reading the indepth interview that Miyazaki gave for My neighbour Totoro and today was transported there with a brief visit to Fredericksburg park. 10 minutes from the house and absolutely breathtaking.

Writing is often messy business. At least in those initial stages when a piece is not fully formed. You have the various threads. The ideas are relatively clear in your mind. They’re just all in the wrong place. Paper doesn’t judge. It doesn’t care for such things. I’ve ‘relearnt’ the importance of staying on paper for as long as possible. The text in the photo became the introduction of my latest issue.

Two weeks into my digital declutter and this is what my mornings are now starting to look like. Spend as much time on the paper before moving to digital. I’m also now starting to think about how I begin to introduce media back into my diet. It won’t be the free for all that it once was. That person is long gone and I honestly have no intention of bringing him back.

Issue 027 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This one is all about wind turbines and easily the most fun I have had writing an issue. I attribute this to the manner in which I am now writing these pieces, which I’ll go into in future posts.

Issue 026 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This issue is about 3D printing, the true cost of solar, the cooling prize and AutoMEP.

01 / Daily Sketch

Trying to introduce sketching into my day.

I’ve been having fun discovering the simple jobs of things I bought years ago and now I have the opportunity to spend more time with them and use them more.

First up is probably one of the most elegant and functional ballpoint pen ever made, the Rotring 600.

🥖 Look, it took me about two months but I’m now on team bread making.

Issue 025 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This one is all about data centres and marries my love for the built environment with my love for technology.

Doing some research for the next issue of my newsletter, I saw this table. Obviously blogging software does not have green credentials. WordPress, the biggest player (as far as I’m concerned) is tracking with a D rating. @manton any ideas where Micro.blog fits into all of this?

Finally got something Danish that isn’t groceries. I know it’s only a box of pencils but like Frank Chimero says:

Get enthusiasm on the cheap by buying a fancy wooden pencil to write everything down. A $3 pencil is now more exciting than a $2,000 computer. Many people will do the most mundane work just to feel a good tool fly.

Issue 024 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This one looks at the construction industry’s response to COVID-19, Hadrian X and Monograph.

In light of other stationary porn being shared, thought I would share my favourite pairings.

Muji notebook. Muji 0.38 Gel ink pen. Pilot Sign Pen - while I have a picture of the Pilot Sign Pen here, my absolute favourite thick pen is the Pilot V Sign pen.

Zane following along with Rob Biddulph and #drawwithrob - easily his favourite thing at the moment.

Issue 022 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This issue focuses on Energy Vaults, Microlino, hydrogen trains and Zettelkasten.

Issue 021 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out now and shines the spotlight on drones. This one was fun to research but tough to write about because of the sheer volume of information around the subject.

Big day when sunrise is before 8am and sunset is after 5pm. Can you feel it? Winter is nearly over and we start unlocking.

It was pretty cold and windy, but that didn’t stop Ryan from enjoying the magic of a flower.

A big 🖕 to the Chinese government for trying to put political pressure on other nations to assimilate to their censorship hive mind. It’s rejected outright.

Isssue 019 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out, The Circular Economy. This one has a lot of noise and material being generated for it. Definitely a topic to watch for how it moves in the future.

When we first moved to Denmark, we ended up buying a few books on the iPad as it was easily accessible. The clear standout stories were the Rabbit & Bear series. Like music that reminds you of a person, this book will always remind us of our 1st weeks in Copenhagen. Perfect.

Finally getting to read the masterpiece that is Berlin. 20 years in the making.

Completely childish I know but the current POTUS (President of the United States) is totally one. Or what goes in one?

“Explain this to me Martin. Why is the cheese in Denmark so soft? Every time I go to slice it with a knife, it just sticks to the knife or worse crumples up.”
“You’re using the wrong tool. We solved this in the 60s.”
He then introduced me to the OSTI cheese slicer. Brilliant.

The journal on the left is for 2018 & 2019. The journal on the right is for 2020 & 2021.

Bringing in 2020 with a new Incredible Hulk inspired colour scheme.

2019

2020

I cannot get over that blue sky. We’ve not seen it very often in recent weeks but it really is beautiful.

Issue 017 and the last issue of the year (and volume one) of my newsletter In Abeyance is now out. The title of this issue is ‘Green Concrete’.

Ryan, Age 2

It’s Ryan’s birthday today. He’s turned 2. I realised that I may not have written how he was born. Having only experienced his brother’s birth 3 years earlier, I was somewhat expecting a difficult affair. The hospital sent us back home a few times. When Yasmine was officially and totally done, we drove at a reasonable pace to the hospital where we were informed that she was really at the end. I ambled downstairs to the car, called my brother to tell him it was all about to begin and went upstairs.

Yasmine was getting in more pain very quickly. We were discussing epidurals (I was all in favour). Yasmine, as she is want to do, was questioning it all. The nurse patiently told us to wait as the doctor was around and she would come take a look and advise. Doctor came, she was 8cm dilated (i.e. very close). No time for epidural, the baby was coming out very soon. 20 minutes later he was out.

It’s been a different adventure than what we went though with Zane but Ryan’s been a great baby, now a proper toddler. Here’s to many more little guy.

Issue 016 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. I have found that I am oftentimes looking to the future and highlighting the road we need to take or make happen. In this issue, I want to bring some positive vibes and put the spotlight on where we have already made progress and projects that showcase built design at its best.

Next issue will be the last for 2019.

No idea what this anime face is for on a train ticket but I love it.

I’d completely forgotten about this graphic representation of my RSS feed on Feedbin. It’s the kind of stat I wish was part of Micro.blog, along with how many consecutive posts i’ve strung together, how many photos i’ve posted, how many articles I’ve written, what was the longest article I’ve written. Fun stats that only I would even mildly care about.

I loved these security deterrent balls in front of the parliament building (at least I think it is the parliament building). The best was the full grown man practicing his parkour across them 😂.

My favourite thing about the architecture in Copenhagen is that they are not afraid to use colour. Even the flowers.

First pic of Copenhagen during the day. I’ve seen this bridge multiple times in our YouTube exploration of the city, now home is right behind it (at least for a month).

Projects