James Foley

Week in review 2024-14

Simulacrum in Amsterdam, visitors round three and summer arrives in April

Notes on the week

On Saturday night I was sat out on our balcony chatting away with Elle, having a beer, and I was wearing a pair of shorts. It was 18 degrees at 9.45pm. At the same time in Ireland my family were winding down after spending the day fixing two damaged roofs after a day of storms and gale force winds. Climate change is real, and very scary, but in the moment it was pretty nice to enjoy a bit of warm weather after a long, wet and dark winter. The whole city seems to have come alive in the last few days, with flowers blooming, trees sprouting bright green leaves and the people flocking to waterside bars and restaurants. We’re moving house soon, but I’m so glad that we got to experience the start of Spring/Summer properly in the harbour, it’s such a beautiful spot in the city.

A friend from college and his recently engaged Fiancé were in town Friday night and Saturday morning. They had been to visit Efteling during the day, and then got the train to us in Rotterdam. We got to hear the full story about their proposal, what the plans are for the wedding and the reception (One is Dutch and one is American, so there is a huge geographical spread between the required guests), and then went for a lovely brunch together on the Saturday morning. They continued on their way back to Groningen after a quick walking tour of central Rotterdam (Cube houses, Markthall, Maritime Museum - I have this down a tee at this stage) and Elle went to Amsterdam for work on an art project.

Sunday we were back in Amsterdam to visit a Simulacrum event. Simulacrum is a publication, and the event was a launch for their latest edition and included some visual arts, performances and readings. The cover artist for the upcoming edition, and one of the artists showing work at the event was one of our friends, Lore, who is doing the MFA with Elle at the Piet Zwart. She does these incredible large scale pencil drawings, and incorporates some sculptural and performance work into her practice as well. We took a little walk through the streets of Amsterdam after the event (it was so sunny it was impossible to not fall in love with the place) and grabbed a burrito before hopping on the train home. We got to ride on one of the new intercity trains, and sat in First Class (Don’t arrest us NS.NL, there were no other seats). The new trains are weird, they feel faster and are very comfortable to be in with decent seats, plugs on all seats etc, but the actual riding experience of the train is weird. It seems to sway a lot more on the tracks, leading to this weird little wobble feeling in your seat as speed. Elle noticed it too, so it’s not just me being picky. They are also a lot louder on the inside, especially during acceleration. 7/10 overall.

We’re still house hunting, but oddly enough as our move out deadline gets closer and closer, I’m more and more confident that we’ll find somewhere. Maybe it’s the denial phase of the stages of grief, but I’ve met one particular agent at so many viewings that we’re now on first name terms, and I think he might be able to help us. Fingers crossed.

The ultimate FPS Controller

April Cools Club

A course to overcome fear of flying

Brazilian special forces fighting deforestation

How to link shell companies to their owners

The XZ attack shell script

The timeline of the XZ attack

The moon should have it’s own time zone


I’m on the home stretch with my friend Ishmael and his tale of the whale. 80% there and loving it. Not sure if this is Stockholm Syndrome, or just a truly great book. I can’t believe how long I’ve been reading this now, I’ve never read a book so slowly. Going to jump into Andy Weir’s “Project Hail Mary” next for something more aligned with what I’d normally enjoy.


Ethan Bortnick is a crazy musician that my friend Niall introduced me too. His music is really bipolar, half relaxing and half stress inducing. I love it!

I think he’s aware of this dichotomy as he has also released a chilled out piano version called ‘The Lullabies’ to go alongside his main release “Luna Park”