I started August by hiking for a few days with Aileen on the Settle-Dales Loop. It was great to spend time with Aileen and get outdoors for a few days. Read my linked journal for more photos and details!
We stayed with Harriet's parents in Hexham either side of my walk. As soon as we got back we had to adjust Jack's cot as he started standing. A week later and he was crawling properly, rather than just dragging himself around and rolling. It was incredible to see how quickly this developed from some halting movements into him exploring the rooms, seeking out toys and trying to follow us. We have started swimming lessons at the Commonwealth Pool, and it's exciting to see him kick and splash in the water too.
Jack is getting bigger and more active. It's strange looking back at photos of just a few months ago, he seems so small and fragile in comparison. We have a lovely morning routine going at the moment, after waking up I bring him through to our living room, prepare some breakfast, and then roll up the blinds, he stands and looks out at the street: people, cars, cats, birds, the sky, the flowers. I point, Jack sometimes points, but always observes. He seems curious, excited, and fascinated. I love these moments.
I skipped most of the festival and fringe this year. The month flew by, and I buried my head into work and spending time with family. I managed to attend one event, the fringe of the book festival: an event with Will MacAskill, author of What We Owe the Future. He spoke about long-termism, risk and giving effectively. Interesting throughout!
We went down to Kirkcudbright for a weekend with all of Jack's grandparents. He had fun crawling around, touching plants, fruit and veg in the garden, and watching a tractor in the field.
Harriet and I went out to the Kirkcudbright Tattoo. It's a town festival with singers, Scottish dancing, invited entertainers and Scottish music.
We also took a lovely walk down the coast admiring all the colours in the hedgerows by the sea. Fresh air, and a little peaceful company. Perfect!
- The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon. A detailed look at how progress shot forward as households became "networked", then growth slowed. Interesting to consider how much the world changed, the drivers of change, and how we might yet increase our living standards.
- Self-Made: Creating Our Identities from Da Vinci to the Kardashians by Tara Isabella Burton. I also attended the Interintellect Salon with the author discussing her book.
- How to be you: Simone de Beauvoir and the art of authentic living by Skye Cleary. A tour of life events, and how de Beauvoir's philosophy applies.
- The Precipice by Toby Ord. A short catalogue of disasters that could imperil the entire future of humanity (AI risk?)