Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Weeknotes #667-674

So here’s the thing. I had a month’s worth of weeknotes almost ready to go at the end of week 671, and then promptly forgot about them as life got in the way. But here I am now, a couple of weeks later, putting my thoughts back together.

Late June and most of July was a time of ups and downs, but mostly ups in fairness. I attended by first film premiere, for one (more on that later). And the last full week of July was especially busy: two film reviews written up, and two quick phoners in the can (again, more in a bit).

What’s more, I’ve started cycling to the office in town via the Royal Canal, now that the upgraded towpath between Castleknock and Ashtown is finally open. We’ve been blessed with some nice sunny days (some of them a bit too nice) so I’ve been making the most of it, cheered by the sight of swan families and dragonflies. Good for the aul’ well-being in more ways than one.

Speaking of well-being, I took a few days off in mid July to recharge my batteries, though I still had freelance bits and pieces to do so I didn’t quite reach full charge. It never really feels like a day off even when you might only work for an hour an a half in the morning. I always feel like I should be doing more, even if I’ve put in a solid day of writing or transcribing or researching or thinking. Typical freelancer’s anxiety.

Still, I had time to set up my new computer stuff: an 11-inch MacBook Air with a 24-inch BenQ monitor, and two cheap Toshiba external drives for media storage and backups. It being more than seven years since I last upgraded my hardware, it was about time I did some future-proofing.
So far I’m very happy with the MacBook. It’s the smallest one, and so light! But not as small as you’d think; it’s got a full-size keyboard, and the screen is big enough for editing and browsing on the go. When home it’s almost always plugged into the monitor so the screen size was my least concern. Let’s hope it lasts as long as my 2007 MacBook, which is still going in fairness (thanks to two HD replacements and a new keyboard casing, no doubt).

Back to that film premiere: I walked the red carpet at the Savoy (which was surreal, I must say) to see TransFormers: Age of Extinction, which I reviewed for Thumped here (short version: it’s awful). I didn’t watch another film for more than a week afterwards; I think Michael Bay killed by love for the medium.

But I’ve had better luck at the movies since then, as you can tell from my review of Hercules, and two enjoyable watches from June since written up, Earth to Echo and The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.
I also liked Guardians of the Galaxy, which is good job since I was a paying punter for that one, but wasn’t very keen on The Rover.

Music-wise, I’m still so far behind it’s funny now, but I managed to write about the new Origin album for Burning Ambulance in early July, and I’m filing another piece for the site this afternoon.

Over on Thumped, meanwhile, you can read my lengthy interview feature with Dylan Carlson and Adrienne Davies of Earth ahead of their Dublin gig this week coming. If you want an insight into the process behind such an piece, that was a whole day’s work right there: a full morning transcribing 40 minutes of phone conversations and an afternoon writing up the intro, formatting, etc. And on a bank holiday and all.

I’ve got another interview in the works, a potentially controversial one, but we’ll see how that goes.