Friday, 29 November 2013

that'll be the winter coming

i may have failed to post any autumnal pictures but now, with the morning temperatures down to a balmy -6 this week, this sky is the sort of thing i've been coming out to scrape the ice off the car to. and handy these phone things, not least because it turns out that the camera on my phone is better than the wee olympus thing i bought only three years ago. i can;y get used to it tho - i need something camera like!

and onto the bike. even allowing for weather i should be well over the 5k mark for this year which, allowing for a couple of months off for weather, injury and wedding isn't bad. true, i've discovered that i am actually beginning to get slower but also that i'm not that much bothered. the ability to stop and look about rather than beasting it with the head down is to be welcomed.

to avoid winter bike injury i've dropped the seat 3mm. this has improved things but i'm uncertain my winter boot cleats are just right. along with the slowing of pace there's a definite slowing of getting over hurt so i need to get this done properly. i've even had the mtb out tho both of those have needed extortionate repairs. i feel my lbs isn't my friend right now!

Friday, 22 November 2013

pat perry

havin a wee flickr odyssey this morning and came across pat perry. loving the illustration. loving the photography. nice to see someone getting out and about in the world of people.

Monday, 18 November 2013

joel cooper

i can tell you one thing i'm not good at and that's origami. i found an origami dragon at work the other day and could barely touch it in case it unfolded. joel cooper takes it up a whole other notch and confuses my head even more. he's even got an etsy shop which is good as i love a thing i can't make...

Friday, 15 November 2013

wangechi mutu

if it's new things to look at i'm looking for it's not usually the guardian i'm looking at but this week has proved me wrong. not least with the pictures of wangechi mutu, who i;d never heard of before. at first glance they remind me very much of chris ofili's last outing, but these seem even more full of colour and texture. I would love to be standing in front of them to get a proper look!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

timm kölln

it's no surprise that timm kolln has been employed by rouleur. his style of cycling photography seems to suit their brand of elegy for the two wheeled - see his pin holes pics of the stelvio for example. and, after enjoying the tour of the arctic earlier this year, it was a pleasant surprise to see him popping up in the guardian with a new series based around that race.

you might not, or then again you might, find these pictures on his website (that substitutes quirky for useability) but even if you can't, and especially if you like your cycling, it's worth flicking thru the pages

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

eating the lunch

Noma: Staff Meal on

one of the things i really enjoy about being at the restaurant in sweden is having lunch, or breakfast before the fishing, but mostly the lunch. it's not like we have to work for it - t's brother is far too hands on for that! - but it may be that i get to fetch some ingredients or maybe wash some dishes (supervised mind!).

after that we get sat down on the deck, usually there'll be some family members about, sometimes one of the waiting staff. being summer the sun is shining and we'll have a good old banter over the food before getting stuck into service. it's great and this video about noma shows that no matter how big the restaurant staff food is always important.

then it's off to do the tables - i get to do this now with a minimum of checking. i wish i could say i was less pernickety than t's brother when it comes to my own work but i'm not which is only one of the reasons why it's such a joy when i get to be a less than effectual kp and get fed for my troubles!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

pretty vacant

i'm pretty taken by rietveld architecture's pretty vacant which appear, for me anyway, to evoke a whole lot of rood screen musings. it's made from blue foam but how they had it cut i don't know. what i do know is i'd be loving getting a hold of a load of blue foam and getting into something like that!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

reading the book

not so very long ago i was mulling about in that increasingly rarest of things - an actual bookshop - (true it was a waterstones but i've since been in the watermill in aberfeldy a couple of times but these days beggars can't be choosers) when i came across the pike, a biography of gabriele d'annunzio. oh, i thought, that looks interesting and put it on my to do list. a few weeks later and here's lucy hughes-hallett winning the samuel johnson prize with that very book.

which is great for her but commiserations for the rest of the shortlists, all of whose books i'd like to be giving a read. yes, including the one on margaret thatcher. sue me! it got me to thinking how much i miss browsing about around a bookshop, those chance finds you come across. true, it has to be said that a very small bit of careful googlemachining can provide the same, and possibly more, but sitting bashing away at a keyboard provides none of the same tactile sense.

in the interim i was up at the aberfeldy festival,. the poetry thing i was doing was packed - all manner of folk, all ages, all sorts. i was particularly impressed that they'd got a bunch of the local school kids in to do a group reading. which got me to thinking about a recent comment of noel gallagher's - that reading fiction was 'a waste of fucking time'. while it's just the sort of asinine statement that seems to constitute gallagher's career these days, constructing a false opposition between fiction and non-fiction (i can't bring myself to go any further beyond that!) and facilitating an 'argument' that has no good reason to exist rather than ask the deceptively complex question - why are people reading?

all of which got me to thinking about neil gaiman's recent statements on libraries and reading

i loved what he had to say about the escapism of reading. for me it never mattered whether it was made up or whether 'it had actually happened' so long as what i was reading took me somewhere i hadn't been before. imaginatively or intellectually it's all one. certainly as the years have gone by i find that reading is the one area in which i'm markedly more tolerant now than i was when i was younger. and, as a consequence, i'm far more inclined to be asking - tell what's good about that, than dismissing something because it was too mainstream/no canonical/not cutting edge enough. so young and yet so opinionated! lol

so far in scotland we haven't had the same pressure on libraries as south of the border but we shouldn't fool ourselves that it isn't coming. people just aren't using them. speaking to librarians where i live i find that i'm in the top two per cent if library users and i'm hardly the frequent flyer i once was. they tell me that less than ten years ago getting the mobile library around a circuit of the district took two days. now it takes an afternoon. then, it turns out, most of the people who go to the library aren't taking out books at all.

the reasons for all of this are many and varied and interesting. the great shame is that libraries and, i would argue, reading in the wider sense are under threat as never before. i can, just about, handle the loss of bookshops but i'd be bereft if the public library was to disappear. my earliest memories of books are of going to the library, the excitement of getting in the car, of being able to get a book, open the covers and vanish.

so one day soon i'm going to take a trip to early 20th century italy and meet gabriele d'annunzio. i'm guessing i'm not going to like him much but i'm looking forward to the journey. then i'll visit some graveyards, think about bees, romans and maybe even take a once around afghanistan. yes, noel, stories all and very much only a version 'of what actually happened'. more reading will reveal….more.

i read some advice by some writer somewhere recently. read, she said, read everything. can't say better than that.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

vlad tenu

i haven't been down to london for a wee while but if i had have been i would've been getting me to see some of vlad tenu's work. i was surprised to learn he was an architect but, that aside, there was a something that put me in mind of bronwyn oliver. never a bad thing...

Friday, 1 November 2013

botanical imagery

as the last of the flowers are disappearing into autumn tow sets of pictures appear to remind me of summer

camila carlow's images are just lovely (tho obviously i wouldn't advocate going out and ripping up plants to recreate them!). it strikes me tho that anatomical illustration (for wont of a better word) seems to be of far more interest to the likes of carlow and various textile artists than visual artists these days.

a few years back i was in the louvre (?) and coming across a gang of camera wielding folk clotted around whatever work it was they wanted to tick off their i have seen list i noticed that just down the corridor there was a wee collection of arcimboldos. i'd been seeing these images since i was wee and suddenly here they were, ignored by everyone else! i've always had a soft spot for them and am loving klaus enrique's recreations as a result