Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Last week... at 2210hrs on the 21st October... I posted the above tweet. Unbeknown to me... it cause a wee flurry of activity. I should have explained that night or the following day... but I got sick. I do owe those who were concerned about me an explanation... so the following in an excerpt of an email I sent Katherine Sonntag, the West of Scotland Salvation Army's Divisional Youth Officer.
Before you read on... please let me assure you that I count Katherine a friend and have nothing but love for her. She has been extremely supportive over this... displaying a level of empathy that was and is very encouraging. She was and continues to be very easy to deal with and is someone I am proud to know.
This isn't a case of me not being asked... to my knowledge, no one has been asked yet! Its more appropriate to think that I no longer feel I have what is necessary to give.
Last week, while I was on leave, my two daughters went to a holiday club in the evangelical church that my parents have recently joined - they moved through from Livingston in September. Their eagerness inspired me. They wanted to be there... not just for the friends they had made but the club had made the story of Moses vital to them... they wanted to learn more and willingly memorised the wee verses they were given. I do think chocolate was a factor but then I do believe they wanted to be there... they wanted to learn more.../I hope this makes sense?
As an individual I am, if I can be honest with myself, spiritually malnourished. I am fully aware that I need to feed and am trying to do so... but I am not getting what I need to sustain me. I want the willingness that my kids have. I want to have the eagerness back. How can I seek to feed others when I am malnourished myself? You can only give out what you have put in... and I can only run on empty for so long. I need to be honest about how long I have been running on empty.
That said... I am struggling with the call to Summer School. I believe it to be a true privilege to be part of... but am unsure if I have anything to give. With Paul & Jen not going... I am scared that I have no one in my immediate support group to keep me on the level. There were times in August where I hated who I had become... and it was Paul who challenged me and kept me in check. Previously it was Olwyn. That said... there were times where I loved what I did... and the cells were a major factor in that... but the truth is I am not a musician and I am not an actor... and I believe there are others more capable of doing what I did.
To compound this... I no longer get 30 days holiday... and now only get 28 days. I can't afford to "buy" the two extra days... and need to give my time to my family. You wouldn't believe how many flippin' holidays these we'ans get.
So it saddens me to say this... but I will not be available for Summer School from 2010 onwards.
I don't have it in me to continue... I don't think I have anything to add... and I no longer have sufficient annual leave days to give.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
I bought a flatcap a couple of weeks ago... and I've been meaning to share its significance with you for a while.
In doing so... I want to stress that this was my own decision - Olly hates them... she thinks I am too fat to carry it off. She associates them with old men... farmers... men who like men... and thinness, for some reason. I do not fit into any of these categories... albeit... I have been accused of walking like a farmer... but then that was a good many years ago when wearing Doc Martens and rolled up jeans made sense to me.
Why did I buy a flatcap? Well... because I think they are cool. They have a timeless appeal to someone in his mid-thirties going through some form of obsessive-compulsive midlife crisis where the seeking out... and accumulation of... the "authentic" is becoming increasingly important.
They are "up there" with Polaroid cameras & charityshop'd 501s. Part of a anti-fashion / post-fashion / anything goes / dare-I-say-hipster aesthetic... or at least my inadequate version of.
I have to stress here and now that the purchase of the cap was my decision... I was not forced into it... not was I indoctrinated into it... it isn't a "family thing" - My father only wears hats when he's on holiday... miles from anyone he knows... with sun beating down on his easily-lobsterized face... whereas my maternal grandfather was more of a Trilby wearer. My paternal died when I was 9. I never really got to know him but I do remember a dapper moustache & a fondness for stuff (maybe that's where who I inherited my love of stuff from?). I don't remember Papa Davey as being a hat-wearer.
Anyway... a flatcap isn't a family thing... nor is it a cultural thing... certainly not a current cultural thing. The flatcap is no longer the symbol it was... of the working class man or the landed gent at leisure. I do appreciate that aesthetic... but the baseball cap has replaced this in all intents and purposes where I live, work & play.
So why? I appreciated the aesthetic and wanted it to work for me... I saw the ability to contextualise it to my own liking. Like a soundtrack to a movie I have never seen... I had the ability to rewrite its context for me.
It is also a symbol for church... or at least my church experience & understanding.
I don't want to inherit someone else's idea of church... I don't want my father's or grandfather's church. I want my own.
Nor do I want what my culture indoctrinates or imposes as being the right expression of church. I want my own.
I want to actively recontextualise my understanding and expression of church so that it works for me. I want to own it... live it... breathe it... passionately participate within it and outwith it... I want my own church.
Please don't misinterpret me as some mad heretical egotistical separatist who wants to form "the cult of Thomas". Whilst my ego likes this idea... its not where I am going with this.
I believe church should be about participation... where you can shape it as much as it shapes you... your experiences will create new understanding... and your new understanding will create new experiences. I want my relationship with God to be vibrant... dynamic... alive... 1-to-1.
As I consider "Reformation Day" I want my church... my understanding of God & His calling for those who follow Him... to be something immediate... with no barriers between God and I. No priest to get in the way. No obstacles. I believe this immediacy comes through participation... through collaboration... through active questioning... challenging... debating... toing-and-froing... I don't want to take someone else's word for it... I don't want to be bound by someone else's understanding... I want to make my own mind up... I want to own it for me.
I want my own tradition. I don't want your tradition... in fact, keep your tradition! If its yours... great... own it. If its not yours... if you have inherited it from someone else... where you haven't been an active participant in the writing and understanding of its orthodoxy AND orthopraxy... then, can I ask... is it truly yours?
That said... I am taking this to an extreme. I don't know Hebrew or Greek... in fact its all Greek to me... and I have to rely on the translations of others. I am also made up of the ideas and writings of other: Brian McLaren... Rob Bell... those folks on the something beautiful podcast... those who have inspired me... including my wife... my kids... my parents... my friends;
Where I am going with this is that church should be about an active choice... about ownership... and not the passive "we've always done it like this" approach that I know only too well. Each of us should write their own tradition... in keeping with their experience and understanding of God & His saving... transforming... empowering grace.
But then maybe that's why people hide behind their inherited experiences... because they haven't experienced the wonderful gift of grace? Because this whole "church thing" isn't real to them.
I want a tradition that is real to me... that expresses who I am in and through Him who transformed and continues to transform me. That's what I want to own.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
First up... we have some sweet leather Moleskine covers from a wee grassroots project based out of San Francisco, California.
According to the site... their covers are made of the finest quality natural leathers with handmade workmanship... produced with no harmful chemicals... they aim to provide a durable ecofriendly product with simplicity, beauty and functionality built in.
At 40 bucks... they are a luxury but then... if you spend your hand earned dough on a Moleskine... then you probably dig good paper and would want to keep it extra special.
teefury.com is a fab wee threadless.com-esque tee shirt site with a difference. Their tees are limited to 24 hours. Literally... here today... gone tomorrow. I like that concept... and the tees are pretty reasonable too - 14 bucks for a tee to your door in the UK... this is one to bookmark and check out daily.
Lastly... vmjess' store on etsy has some superfab camerastraps... both over-the-neck SLR ones and over-the-hand point-and-click ones. They are wild and gaudy... but in a good way... far better than the corporate ones that come with your camera.
I particularly liked this one :: Reversable Laguna Bloom and Stripe :: but I can't imagine everyone liking it. Maybe thats why I like it so much.
Anyway... Dayna was raving about the video (use link above... can't embed) because it was futuristic and had "some nice symbols" in it... so I gave it a watch and was blown away. Its a good song and yes... Fergie still looks braw... but I was most blown away with the revolutionary symbolism in the video... the very symbolism Dayna had picked up and was very excited about.
First off... a grenade is transformed into a mic.
Then a gasmask is transformed into headphones.
Lastly... a mushroom cloud is transformed into a tree.
This is powerful imagery. It is subversive... using the imagery of fear and colonial power... and turning it into the imagery of peace:
- An instrument of hate & violence becomes an instrument for free speech and entertainment.
- An instrument of fear and protection becomes an instrument for listening (no point having free speech if no one can hear) and entertainment.
- An outcome of violent intent and a symbol of fear becomes an instrument of ecological health and childlike fun.
There's a day coming when the mountain of God's HouseIsaiah 2:1-5
Will be The Mountain—
solid, towering over all mountains.
All nations will river toward it,
people from all over set out for it.
They'll say, "Come,
let's climb God's Mountain,
go to the House of the God of Jacob.
He'll show us the way he works
so we can live the way we're made."
Zion's the source of the revelation.
God's Message comes from Jerusalem.
He'll settle things fairly between nations.
He'll make things right between many peoples.
They'll turn their swords into shovels,
their spears into hoes.
No more will nation fight nation;
they won't play war anymore.
Come, family of Jacob,
let's live in the light of God.
Friday, October 23, 2009
That said... it appears you CAN polish a turd:
It is time for the churches to ditch the rhetoric of 'Christian Britain' and religious identity and to replace it with a new discourse based on a Christian vision of justice and equality, rather the hankering after a bygone age which will do nothing but fuel the BNP’s racist ideology.Jonathan Bartley :: Ekklesia
Jonathan Bartley's article on "why churches should listen to what Nick Griffin said on Question Time" is an excellent article that will be challenging to some... especially older Christians. Basically, the gist is that we need to think long and hard about the rhetoric we use.
Whilst I believe we should be grateful for what we have in Britain... we must realise that Britain is no longer a "Christian" country... and, to be honest, I doubt it ever was. Yes... the church has been key in building what we have but so to have secularists and folks of other faiths.
Whats more... there is no such thing as a "indigenous" Brit. Yes... I am a white Scot... my parents are white Scots... my grandparents were white Scots... but that doesn't mean I am "indigenous" - it just means my family tree has lived in Scotland for a good while. I believe there is Irish blood in mean... although I haven't investigated this by any means.
We need to divorce faith from country of origin, if you ask me. Britain isn't a Christian country but a diverse "saladbowl" of people of faith and those with none.
And as followers of God in the Way of Jesus we need to do all we can to maintain/develop this "saladbowl". Whereas in a "melting pot" everything becomes a similar stew... in a "saladbowl" every ingredient retains its uniqueness - a tomato is not a lettuce and a lettuce is not an onion etc.
How do we maintain this? by speaking up for the oppressed... by siding with the minorities... by sitting down with the broken, hurt, addicted, sidelined; by advocating for the powerless and speaking up for the voiceless. Whilst working with those in power... and those with a voice... to demonstrate, in action, a different way... a way based on love & mutual appreciation.
We need to realise that a mono-culture is a bad thing... by being not only dull but destructive and entropic. It breeds "us and them"... or "in and out"... or "the other".
The word "whosoever" is an all encompassing word that transcends nationality, culture, race, creed, belief, faith, sexuality, gender... it transcends all the silly little things that we use to divide us. God's love is there for all... not just some subset elite.
So I call out to those who speak out as Christians or on behalf of Christians... you only speak for me when your message is one of love... where judgement & elitism are absent... and where justice and egalitarianism are at the forefront... because, as Paul says in Galatians:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28.
Therefore... Nick Griffin... you do NOT speak for me. Stephen Green... you do NOT speak for me.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I saw this video and thought *WOW*... pretty awesome if you ask me.
I'm desperate to get ink ... and I'm a wee bit of a camera obsessive ... hmm?!?
(via notcot #25,722 with thanks)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I picked up the soundtrack to New Moon tonight after giving it a listen yesterday... and have to say I am very impressed. 15 original tracks... exclusive to the album... from some of my current "on-the-iPhone" fave artists including Thom Yorke, Death Cab for Cutie, Lykke Li, and Grizzly Bear... along with songs from new (to me) bands such as Band of Skulls & Sea Wolf.
Full tracklisting is as follows:
- DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – MEET ME ON THE EQUINOX
- BAND OF SKULLS – FRIENDS
- THOM YORKE – HEARING DAMAGE
- LYKKE LI – POSSIBILITY
- THE KILLERS – A WHITE DEMON LOVE SONG
- ANYA MARINA – SATELLITE HEART
- MUSE – I BELONG TO YOU (NEW MOON REMIX)
- BON IVER & ST. VINCENT – ROSYLN
- BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB – DONE ALL WRONG
- HURRICANE BELLS – MONSTERS
- SEA WOLF – THE VIOLET HOUR
- OK GO – SHOOTING THE MOON
- GRIZZLY BEAR WITH VICTORIA LEGRAND – SLOW LIFE
- EDITORS – NO SOUND BUT THE WIND
- ALEXANDRE DESPLAT – NEW MOON (THE MEADOW)
Monday, October 19, 2009
My thanks to notcot #25,626 for the heads-up to some new goodies coming our way from Moleskine.
...a collection of six different journals to record and recall memories, thoughts and notes about six different passions: Recipes, Wine, Book, Film, Music and Wellness.and six new pieces with the "folio collection"...
...a collection of top quality large Moleskine formats, A4 and A3. Now 6 new items have been added, conceived for professionals who love to personalize their own desks and give value to them, in functional and aesthetic terms. It is also a set of tools Moleskine lovers can use to build their own "portable office", to represent themselves in all occasions and meetings.The "Passions" notebooks contain the following:
- Pages divided by printed tabs, with a themed layout for supporting you in taking notes.
- Pages divided by blank tabs, that the user can personalize with the enclosed adhesive labels.
- Blank pages for freedom of expression.
- Enclosed adhesive labels, with words and icons.
- Themed charts, calendars, glossaries, listings.
- Post-it pocket (ruled and plain in one pack)
- Card pocket (20 pcs in one pack)
- Soft document holder
- Moleskine printable A4 paper
- Ring binder
- Ring binder organizing Set
My fave ambient electronica producer :: Cousin Silas :: recorded this "moody electronic music" for broadcast on the internet radio show Phantom Circuit. It was first broadcast on 6th April 2009 and is now available for free download via the fab Earthrid netlabel.
I have only one word for this release and that is mesmerising! This is a set of beautiful & engaging ambience... I was captivated... like a sailor drawn to the sirens.
Please check it out.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I've kind of gone crazy with my tumblr of late... uploading pics that have inspired me or reflect the things I have been thinking about... including pics I have favourited on Flickr.
I feed off Flickr. I find inspiration in its pages. There appears to be a group for everything. I have mostly been considering toy cameras... fixed gear bikes... folding bikes... and great photography... the kind of photography that I can & do aspire to.
So if you follow my Tumblr or are friends with me on Facebook... then this will explain all the random pics that you have been seeing of late. Who knows... maybe you'll find inspiration too.
Spent yesterday afternoon in Peebles with Olly and the we'ans. I brought all a few of my cameras [ iPhone, Nikon d60, Holga 135 & Vivitar IC101 ] to capture the moment... and celebrate World Toy Camera Day.
It was a glorious day to wander around such a beautiful town. There are a number of charity shops on the High Street... I have been very fortunate in a day gone by... picking up a pair of 501s... but yesterday wasn't my day. Olly picked up a sweet handbag... Dayna got a pair of Levi's... and Miriam found a fab jigsaw that we'll be working on today. I did find Bjork's "Army of me" CD single and "the Naked Gun 2.5" soundtrack... which is pretty cool, I suppose.
Anyway... I've uploaded two sets of pics to Flickr :: my original pics... taken with my Nikon d60 and a small selection of faves that I have "camerabag'd" :: check them out... leave a comment or something.
Friday, October 16, 2009
...when i finish a session of trying out Christian metal bands, I head immediately to the most melodic, atmospheric, pad-pleasant ambient music I can find. Like the heroine in the movie "Big", I have been 13, and it was hard enough the first time.Gurdonark
I loved this post by my friend Robert aka Gurdonark on his quest to find free & legal downloads from the "Christian metal" genre.
I saw this on psfk.com and actually thought wow.
I thought wow for three reasons...
- There's a Christian "thing" on psfk.
- Its a Christian "thing" that gets digital & interactive... and appears to get it right... hence why its on psfk (imho) as well as The Telegraph
- It has so much potential - whilst it is only for Windows at the moment... ports to the Mac & the iPhone are in the offing... and, as such, make it exciting.
- Over 7500 encyclopedia articles
- 463 virtual tours with 360 degree views detailing how certain historical cities looked in the past and present
- 2,382 high res photos
- 3.5 hrs of video
- 147 zoomable maps
- 689 works of art
More social components coming soon through free web updates, including interactive Bible studies, sharing notes, accountability tools and methods to encourage and keep up with friends.I hope this includes existing tools like Twitter... instead of creating their own proprietary version. I think they should look to youversion for inspiration on how to do this right.
I was saddened today... oh, wait, yesterday... to hear that A-HA have split up after 25 years. I was then shocked to consider their first album :: Hunting High & Low :: is 24 years old. When did that happen? I still listen to that album... its one of a select few that both Olly & I love.
Anyway... the song in the video above :: The sun always shines on TV :: was the first single I ever bought... well, I think my dad bought it for me... but I did choose it. All mine in glorious 7" vinyl.
I would recommend that album to anyone... it still stands the test of time... and their noughties material has been very strong. I'm glad they kept on writing and performing new material rather than becoming a fixture on the retro circuit... living off what was and not what is.
Morten... Mags... Pal... both Olly and I will miss you. B-YE!!!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
First off... we have the pics from my Vivitar IC101. I am very pleased with them... they have the "toycamera" vibe I have been hunting for.
Next up... we have the pics from my Canon EOS 500n aka Rebel G. I am pleased with these pics too... but can't really differentiate them from my Nikon d60 dSLR... which then begs the question... what's the point of shooting film with the Canon if it doesn't do anything different/unusual?
Lastly... we have the pics from my Praktica MTL3 with a Macro lens. These pics are the ones I am least happy with... I just haven't got the manual SLR down yet... too dark... too blurry. That said... I do like the graininess and do see the possibility... if I can only understand how it works.
Let me know what you think... leave a comment on the Flickr page or something. I would appreciate your thoughts.
She'll hate me for this... but this was Dayna 4 years ago.
I've been looking at my old pics from when I started on Flickr (2005) and this one jumped out at me... a sweet wee pic on Dayna... in County Donegal which is a beautiful part of the world and a nice vanishing perspective (if I do say so myself).
Ahh to reminisce... I must be getting old.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I mentioned World of Goo back in January... and just wanted to highlight that the developers :: 2dboy :: are having a Radiohead-esque "pay what you want" sale (until the 19th October) to celebrate World of Goo's first birthday.
I would really recommend this game... its like an iPhone game for your Mac or PC. It is unbelievably addictive and just looks brilliant onscreen. I have, so far, managed to get Olly into it... and hope my we'ans will follow suit.
Let me show you. Here's a pic I took today with a wee point-and-click (Fujifilm Finepix A500) of the Roman Bridge in Strathclyde Park, Motherwell:
5mp shooting on a 3:2 ratio. The camera is nothing special... but it is wee and handy in my Manhattan Portage bag. The pic captures the variety of colours in the trees and the nice reflection in the water.
Here is the pic altered using the "Instant" filter in Camerabag and a nice wee rounded border. The pic is more red / brown... with an aged feel. It looks more like a postcard or a pic your grandparents would have on their fireplace.
Here's another example... this time of the Rower's Tower in the Loch itself. I love the reflection that you get on the water here... I have snapped the tower many times in the last so many years... its a sight I don't tire of.
In summary... I like it... and think I have found a winning combination. The Finepix A500 camera is an ok camera... nothing special... it takes a good photo albeit one that lend itself better to greens & blues. It was gathering dust in my drawer before I picked up Camerabag. With it... the scope is so much greater... it adds soul to the pic... and that, for me, is a big deal.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I don't like horror movies... I prefer disaster movies... and when I say "I prefer disaster movies" I actually mean... I love them!!!
I love disaster movies... especially ones that involve Aliens or natural disasters... and maybe its the evangelical in me but I particularly love end-of-the-world disaster movies.
More about Kiel Johnson on hifructose.com.
I am now the proud caretaker of the above Peugeot Carbolite 103. I say "caretaker" because I can't really keep it... Olly won't let me... I have my BSA... and I'm sure there is someone out there more deserving of this bike.
That said, I intend to give it a clean up & have a ride on it... and, who knows, my stewardship may last as long as the Stewards of Gondor (geek reference).
Will post pics of it all sparkly. I'm going to submit it to the old ten speed gallery too.
Thanks to Alex at my work for his kindness.
[Sent from my iPhone]
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I really like flicking through feaverish photography blog :: Aaron Feaver, the curator of the blog, has a real eye for awesome imagery and brings to the attention some fantastic photographers.
Well work checking out / bookmarking for reference and ongoing inspiration... although I would suggest caution if you are easily offended by the human body... some of the imagery featured, whilst tastefully done, is not exactly safe for the workplace.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
I saw the above camera in a charity (thrift) shop on Saturday passed... but was forcibly restrained from buying it by my daughter Dayna. It stuck in my mind... however... like all good obsessions do. I hoped it would be of a similar ilk to the cult Ultra Wide & Slim that I've been lusting after for a while now.
I did some digging on the ol' 'tinterwebs and found a few articles about it:
First off... I found avocado8's post on the camera...
Al's first remark when I opened the box was, "aren't those the kind of cameras companies *give away* as swag?" Uh, yeah. It's cheap plastic, light as a feather, requires no batteries as far as I can tell, and creaks under the pressure of my thumb when I advance or rewind the film. Perfect!I then admired some pics taken with the camera on lomography.com - they looked awesome!
I searched Flickr and found some more awesome imagery taken with the camera. I thought this set was particularly sweet.
Lastly, I found this post by Mark Cassino the clinched the deal...
As junk cameras go, the Vivitar is a real Cadillac. Unlike, say, the Special Moments Focus Free camera, the Vivitar is small, compact, and solidly built. It features a frame counter – a tremendous luxury for a camera of this class. It also has a protective lens cover, that locks the exposure button so you can’t take accidental shots (maybe not such a great feature). It also has a curved back plate – apparently an attempt to correct for some of the spherical aberrations caused by the focus free lens. I have an old Ansco Ready Flash that also has a curved back. You can only wonder what the results would be if the back were flat, but as it is the images are still plenty distorted.When I read this I got all excited and begged Olly to pick it up for me... it took the promise of a Lush bathbomb and the passing on of my existing panorama toycamera - the wide pic that took these pics - to persuade her... but persuade her I did... and I am now the proud owner of my first Vivitar film camera... for the paltry sum of £1.80.
The really exciting thing about this camera, though, is that it is P-A-N-O-R-A-M-I-C. Well, sort of. Following the fad of a decade or so ago, this camera crops the top and bottom off the 35mm frame, creating a panoramic aspect ratio.
I'll post the outcome of the first roll of film in it as soon as I'm finished. Thing is... I would actively encourage you to raid your local charity shops and look for old film cameras... especially the "toy" cameras like the Vivitar IC101. Film isn't that expensive to work with.
For example... at ASDA they will develop the film and put it straight on CD for you, without printing any pics. They charge £2 development + £0.97 for a CD (this CD can house up to 3 films). In addition, you can pick up a roll of Kodak ColorPlus 200ISO 24exp film for £1 from Poundland. That makes a total cost of £3.32 per roll or £0.14 per pic. Compare this with £1.25ish per Polaroid and you get where I'm coming from.
Don't get me wrong... it won't replace my dSLR (Nikon d60) or my iPhones... but it is a fun addition to already verging-on-OCD hobby.
Go on... give it a go... and if you find a working Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim... I'll give you a tenner for it.
Monday, October 05, 2009
I'm a huge fan of Massive Attack & it was a pleasure to discover a new EP was out there... Four tracks that are some what darker than there earlier material but a natural progression from their most recent work.The first track_ the title track_ is a dark yet jaunty little ditty that bounces all with a hauntingly repetative keys sound... a slow dubby vibe that is both familar, especially when Horace Andy's vocals come in, and disconcerting. "Pray for rain" is similarly familiar yet haunting... a scattering backbeat underpinning the whole track & suspense- filled atmospherics creating a deliciously substantial vibe... that builds very nicely... almost hypnotically... into some excellent vocal harmonies. "Bulletproof love" is an exciting remix_ stripped back... lean... muscular... with poignant horns in places & a firm backbeat. And "Psyche"... the last track... is intoxicating with a beautiful ambience and Siren-esque vocals that remind me of the lassie from Fever Ray & the Knife. Well worth checking out. Tx [Sent from my iPhone]
Sunday, October 04, 2009
This weekend I was solely responsible for my two daughters :: Dayna & Miriam. Olly was with the Bellshill Salvation Army Brass Band in Peterborough this weekend... leaving me holding the Fort... and it was to the Fort we headed on the Friday night after a lovely meal at my parents'.
We headed into the Fort for a donder and the promise of hooking Dayna up with her own Starbucks card so she can use their wifi. It worked a treat and the geek in me was proud to watch them playing "Club Penguin" while I enjoyed a tall Kenyan.
On Saturday morning we headed up into Motherwell. I had originally intended to head into Glasgow... but I noticed there was a Peter Howson exhibition at the Motherwell Heritage Centre... and wanted to support the local gallery space.
Man... I wasn't disappointed. The only bummer of the show was the "no photography" policy... but then that was understandable. I did pick up a signed event programme... this will probably be the only signed "Howson" I will own... as well as three postcards depicting the three main oils.
The name of the exhibit is "as strong as death" and it focuses on life and death... with a uniquely refreshing Christian emphasis. Howson is an artist I have loved for a while... He is an artist who happens to be a Christian rather than the insipid "Christian Artist"... and his work reflects his faith as well as commentates on contemporary culture. His pictures of Gary McKinnon (above pic - top right) and Jade, for example, are so now... whereas his crucifixion scenes (above) are timeless.
The three oils in the exhibit are breathtaking... they are so Howson and yet so fresh & new:
- "Hell's visitor" - Top Right
- "Lion of Judah" - Bottom Left
- "Love is strong as death" - Bottom Right and the cover of the guidebook
All in... a wonderful exhibit and such a coup for Motherwell. I'm so grateful to the tweet from my local councillor that gave me the head's up. Does your local councillor tweet? If not... ask him/her why not?!
After the exhibit... we headed into the town centre. We checked out the charityshops (Dayna, on orders from her mother, successfully persuaded me not to buy a Vivitar panoramic camera) - I picked up this fab photography book in one for 49p (below)...
...and Poundland, where I picked up a Knomo cover for my iPhone for £1.
We then headed home for some of my (in)famous French Toast... and to chill. The weather was horrendous & the thought of heading to the Kelvingrove Museum was a wee bit too much for Miriam.
Later on... we headed into the Glasgow Science Centre to watch STAR TREK in their IMAX cinema. The screen is larger than 5-a-side football pitch and the equivalent to 6 normal cinema screens... and made the film all the better. In fact, the only way to make the film better was to watch it on a screen that size... it did the film justice.
It was a pleasure to meet up with my colleague Steven aka @myopicaardvark and his wife Aileen... I'm not sure what the collective noun is for a pair of geeks but whatever it is, they are it... and wonderfully so. Their energy... their geekiness... is so refreshing and inspiring. Whether its sci-fi, films, TV, comics, books or knitting (Aileen knits)... they have an enthusiasm for it that can't be surpassed.
It was also a pleasure to see my girls' faces when the Enterprise is first shown. They have seen it before but seeing it on the IMAX screen is truly jaw-dropping.
I drove home to the STAR TREK soundtrack... with the girls dozing in the car. They got a second wind when they found "the Return of the King" on Channel 4 +1. As I said in the resulting tweet... I have a better chance of appearing in the HOBBIT film that I did getting them to their bed... so I didn't bother. Another wonderful story.
Today... we went to our rather depleted church gathering... then walked to my folks for lunch and a time to chill. I'm not sure who enjoys playing more... my folks or my we'ans... but a ball was had while I rested a rather sore head.
It was very pleasant to walk home. The sun was shining albeit the temperature is starting to fall. Wool jacket and scarf weather for sure.
We then headed back to Bellshill for our church's evening gathering. Whilst there were only 15 of us there... it was a beautiful gathering... people could contribute and those gathered actively did... discussion formed a greater part of the thought rather than a one-to-many sermon.
This evening... the girls watched a film on Sky+ whilst I tidied up... footered about on the ol' 'tinterweb... and wrote this post.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
I've uploaded the best pics from 3 rolls of film that I got developed tonight.
When I say "best" I actually mean the ones that were reasonably legible & semi-decent... and when I say "got developed" I actually got the lassie in ASDA to just put the pics on disc and not print the pics... kind of the film equivalent of asking for a drink "straight, no chaser". Glad we cleared that up.
If you are a geek like me... you'll want to know all about the cameras I used... which were as follows:
* Holga 135
* Praktica TLR3
* Canon EOS 500n
You'd also get really excited about the film... that said, I used film I picked up in Poundland... I think one of the rolls was Kodak ColorPlus 200 ISO... but don't know what the other two rolls were.
I'm loving the Canon... but then that's the easiest to use - it is an automatic whereas the other two are manual.
As for the Holga & the Praktica... I think I have more work to do with them... I haven't mastered them by any means.
Go here to see the whole set. Please leave a comment if you like a pic... let me know what works for you. Only through your feedback can I grow.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
I love it when folks get in touch to tell me of new music they've released. One such release is the wonderfully bright Instructions for Flying by dep. I loved his previous release nothing to undo : nothing to redo and was eager to hear how he has progressed as an artist.
Words like delicate & intricate come to mind as I listen to "these are your marching orders" which reminds me of The Album Leaf and Sigur Ros circa Takk... > the track building_ marching even_ towards a climatic finish.
His sound still retains a sense of the glitchy... rhythms are scattered, bells weave in and out, vocals are fractured... but there is also a sense of a broadening in outlook... a real undercurrent of post-rock flavouring... a widening of sound and real emphasis placed on ambience.
I would strongly recommend this album... available as a download for free here or as a physical entity at CDBaby. Please check it out.
My thanks to notcot #25,220 for the heads-up to this fab AIR video. Lovely. Can't wait for their new album :: Love 2 :: to drop. More soon no doubt.
Brilliant song... I particularly like the vocals from Fever Ray aka Karin Dreijer Andersson aka the lassie from "The Knife". As for the video... off the wall!