Wednesday, 5 October 2022


 all islands of my acquaintance. katie k here in arran, where i've not been in years but, given how good the roads look i should surely go back

then barry godin gives it some beans up to my old stamping ground in the western isles and back down to the lovely (though very tourist blighted) island of mull. great trip

*i would point out that my time for camping and sleeping in bothies is long past. if i'm to indulge in such pastimes these days it involves prearranged pickups, hot showers, good food and comfy beds. i apologise for nothing! lol

Monday, 3 October 2022

roberta boffo

i'm loving the work of roberta boffo. clearly there's some of her stuff that has much in common with some of mine but she does it with a brush! absolutely have a look at her instagram to watch her technique!


Saturday, 1 October 2022


 this just made me smile! 

Friday, 30 September 2022

do the work

 'if you want something you've never had before you have to do something you've never done before'. lots of good stuff in this.

Thursday, 29 September 2022


i can't lie, watching this is akin to a magic show for me. true my lack of woodworking skills is routed deep in childhood shenanigans but i can offset that anxiety by just admiring the craftmanship on view here! 

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

julia margaret cameron


i particularly like julia margaret cameron's picture of sir john herschel (and it's as good a place as any to start getting an insight into that particular milieu) so i was really interested to read this essay in the public domain review. it's no surprise that the doings of a wealthy englishwoman in the 19th century were funded by, to our eyes, some pretty exploitative business practices but the writer manages to let the reader amke up their own mind about that, rather than the leaden, uninspiring virtual signalling that characterises so much of this type of writing these days.

do the writer's somehow imagine that their posturing somehow removes them from the fact that the very things they're complaining about were part of the process that got them where they are? so yes, julia margaret cameron's pictures are great to look at. but before we start judging we should consider ourselves, who sit with our phones, our computers, our blogs, the most privileged, wealthy generation ever to walk the planet, and what we're doing with that privilege

Monday, 26 September 2022


this is a great watch not just for the tense dense language that is spanish but for a lark around with grammar generally (there's subtitles!). also, for my generation onwards, a chance to see just how hamstrung we are without a proper grammar education. bad teaching? definitely an element? the ideology of 'making learning fun'? almost certainly. it's almost like a succession of governments, in their commitment to cutting language, arts and music were attacking the population - compare and contrast the educational priorities in private education!

i've long been an advocate of music and activity for children. my young relatives were all functionally bilingual by age 11. if your kids (or you) can't do simple grammar, like identifying a verb, subject or object, it's time to get that grammar book out! lol

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Saturday, 24 September 2022

more on notebooks

clearly i love a notebook. i love a notebook in direct inverse proportion to finding myself living in an anglophone country full of monolingual anglophones. but all is not lost. i'm not a massive fan of social media (despite this blog!) but i do like the proliferation of non anglophone material all over the internet. happy days then to be able to listen to not-english any time i choose. unfortunately, due to the parlous state of my languages, it's not always easy hence back to the notebook. 

it's nice to tune your ear and, in the beginning, listen along with english subtitles. but it's not really helpful. better to listen while you have your target language subtitles on. but don't skip over that vocabulary you don't recognise. jot it down in your notebook and come back to it later.

and don't make it hard for yourself. for me it's the televisual equivalent of teletubbies in the likes of dutch or italian but i get to combine watching cycling content with language learning with the likes of gcn - in spanish, french or german if i so choose. super handy 

Friday, 23 September 2022

the longest night

 having done large chunks of this route when i was younger there's no chance i'd do it now. and especially in winter! i have serious workshop envy at the beginning. 

and this also, because only women cyclists can really talk about the issues regarding women's cycling. obvs weight is an issue across the whole world of cycling but having just seen emma norsgaard describe herself as a 'chubby little sprinter' in the new movistar doco (when she weighs about as much as my finger nail) it was an interesting coincidence to come across this

Thursday, 22 September 2022

shinobu hashimoto

 ...makes a pot. one can only imagine the horrors were i to try this! but a beautifully serene capture of a piece of making. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

the hudson river school - thomas cole and frederic church


i hope it's apparent i do like a podcast and the bowery boys history podcast, as much as i've listened to it so far, has all the qualities i like. this episode deals with the early days of the hudson river school, specifically in the form of thomas cole and frederic church. it's great on the detaila and there's a wealth of information on the webpage. absolutely check it out.

*i'd also highly recommend their episode on the black ton explosion. it's a mark of their respect for their audience that they leave you to make some obvious conclusions but it's a fascinating look at a niche but significant piece of new yourk histroy

Tuesday, 20 September 2022


 it's a cooking day for me. i'm going to be making a variant on this garbanzo stew. i don't eat meat products so no egg thickener for me! (that bread looks unpleasant also - make your own!) 

i'm also going to be making some goodness from will yeung. likely starting with this! some of yeung's videos have pretty specific imgredients but you can always switch in from something else you've got lingering in the fridge. failing that just choose something simpler! and definitely make some of the basics he does, like chili oil, it's just good for your state of mind. and tasty! 

Monday, 19 September 2022

ludovico einaudi

 i'm packing up my visual arts gear now that autumn's arrived and getting back into music (and, god help me, writing!) which, this year, means i'll be practicing a lot of einaudi. he makes it look easy but if you're a rubbish piano player like me, it really isn't (and doing it on guitar is even worse! lol). but lovely, soothing and just what i feel like doing of an autumnal afternoon.