The Swipe Volume 1 Chapter 5

And we blink, and it’s February. This time last week I was starting to twitch about the Reading Writers launch at Tutu’s in Palmer Park. Very happy to report it went off without a hitch. Stories were read. Wine was imbibed. Cakes and sandwiches just kept on coming. Fine times were had.

Now we have business to address. Saturday rolls around and there are links to be shared. This week—fonts! Bots made of spam! A big chunk of fiction! And several more! You know the deal by now.

Wherever you are, whenever you are, however you are, welcome to The Swipe.

(featured image via @69Scars on Twitter).

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The Swipe Volume 1 Chapter 4

Very excited. Today I’ll be spending the afternoon at Tutu’s Ethiopian Table in Palmer Park, Reading with my writing group pals, celebrating the launch of our latest anthology. The Three Bs takes as a theme the three industries which made Reading famous—beer, bulbs and biscuits. (There’s a Fourth B which also gets a mention). We’re very proud of the book, hence the meetup. There will be readings, cake and good times abundant. Late notice, I know, but if you can make it down to the park between 2 and 4 you’d be very welcome.

You can check The Three Bs out as an ebook or paperback here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09TZ6F3F5

Wherever you are, whenever you are, however you are, welcome to The Swipe.

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The Swipe Volume 1 Chapter 3

Plenty of long-reads in this week’s edition. It’s cold out. Stay with me, warm and cosy, snuggled up with a dense chunk of fun stuff to amble through.

Today: Minecraft! Milli Vanilli! Balkan Cosmology! And a magnificent sandwich! What more could you ask for?

Wherever you are, whenever you are, however you are, welcome to The Swipe.

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The Swipe Volume 1 Chapter 2

Look! A logo! I must be taking the rebrand seriously. I’ll be monetizing the joint next. HI GUYS LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE etc etc. Launching next week—Swipe Blue. A nominal extra charge gets you undefinable ‘benefits’ and the nagging feeling you’re the victim of a big fat con. Kidding. We will always be free at the point of use. I do this for the love of links.

On the subject of which… this week I offer booze, wrestling and cyberpunk’s ground zero. You’re welcome.

Wherever you are, whenever you are, however you are, welcome to The Swipe.

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The Swipe Volume 1 Chapter 1

New year, new start. If you’re expecting the usual Saturday hit of The Cut—well, things have changed a bit. The Excuses And Half Truths newsletter is now The Swipe, a more personal take on the week. It’s an incremental shift rather than a complete restart, but I hope you like the tweaks.

You still get your links. You still get your song. You also get an overview of what I’ve been enjoying this week. I’ll try to keep it positive. Recommendations rather than warnings. You don’t need me grumbling at you while you’re easing into the weekend.

Lots to see and do. Let’s get it started.

Wherever you are, whenever you are, however you are, welcome to The Swipe.

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The Final Cut

Let’s address the big question first. Yes, this is the last episode of The Cut. The offices will be closing at midnight, the Crew moving on with blessings and happy thoughts to new and exciting adventures.

It’s not the end of the Excuses And Half Truths newsletter, though. Think of this moment as a restart, a chance to address a couple of points which have irritated Editor Rob for a while.

That Editor Rob thing, for a start. It’s time to take ownership, stop hiding behind a (let’s be honest) fictitious office of grizzled journos and wide-eyed juniors. A singular authorial voice is the requirement. Hello. My name is Rob Wickings and from next week I will be your host and patron.

Of course, the annoying fact that New York Magazine already has a newsletter-style supplement called The Cut makes this venture look even more like a copycat. In our defense, the whole thing was set up as a lockdown venture with very little foresight. We have the ability to change things up and be more ourselves. A proper email newsletter will be available in the New Year as well, if you prefer. In fact, this is a chance for you to make your wishes known. Is there anything you’d like me to cover? Are there any tweaks to the service you’d like to see? Hit me up. I’m always listening.

A lot will not change. The winning structure—ten posts with a bit of context, finish with a song—stays. So does the delivery time. Saturday at 10am, just in time for me to relax with Matt and the gang for Saturday Kitchen.

Next week, then, I would be delighted for you to join me for Volume 1, Chapter 1 of The Swipe.

For now, though, one last run through the turnstiles. Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Final Cut.

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The Cut Season 3 Christmas Wrapup

So, this is (nearly) Christmas. Are you ready? It’s a complicated time of year. The general pressure is on family, peace, gift-giving and happiness. But that may not be how things are for you. Family relations can be difficult. Money’s tight. Peace? Well, Putin’s still on his bullshit. All told, you could be excused for turning your back on the whole charade.

But the day can be an excuse to make your own sort of merry. After all, we celebrate in late December as the winter slowly begins to retreat and the darkest day is over our shoulder. It can be a time to reflect, take a breath, and make plans for the year ahead. Above all, it can be a moment where you gather the people you love and show them you care, in whatever way you can.

If nothing else, take comfort in a tiny chink of regularity and sweet routine.

Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.

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The Cut Season 3 Episode 46

How’s your festive countdown running, if you do such a thing? Tree up? Deccoes strung? Cards posted? If not, too late! Oh well, probably better for the environment not to send so much paper around just to have it go in the recycling. To us, it feels like we’ve almost forgotten what to do after two lockdown Christmases. Still, even if plans are askew, there are always mince pies. Whatever your belief system, you can always have faith in them.

And of course, in your regular Saturday visit from your pals at The Cut. This week: lies! Viking detectives! A recipe! And an anti-Christmas anthem.

Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.

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The Cut Season 3 Episode 45

Editor Rob notes:

I woke this morning to do the construction, polish and delivery of this here missive, which has become a very pleasing way to start the weekend. It clears the mind and focusses me on the day ahead while TLC snoozes upstairs. Quiet time. My time with ten links, a song and The Readership.

Today the garden is coated in a thick layer of frost. The heavenly sky-daddy has shaken out a tub of decorative icing sugar, and everything is twinkling. The light is soft, pearlescent. Everything is peaceful. It’s a clear signal we’re coming to the end of another tumultuous year. This time next week I will be 56. This time next month we will be living in the twenty-third year of the twenty-first century, a phrase which feels wildly science-fictional to me. Who knows what 2023 holds? It seems crazy to try and make any predictions. Perhaps next year this blog will be entirely written by a chat bot with art by Dall-E, and I will be surplus to requirements.

I like to hope not. For one thing I’d miss the Saturday mornings, and this quiet time with you, Readership.

Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.

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The Cut Season 3 Episode 44

December! Holy macaroni, it’s December! We’ve been a bit turned around what with the Nanowrimo and the family bereavements and all the hey hey hey but even so! Who pulled down the big switch and turned winter on without us noticing? X minus 22 days, Readership. You better not pout…

This week: marmalade, food which may not be food and a momento mori just to stop things getting too jolly.

Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.

Continue reading The Cut Season 3 Episode 44