Sunday, 31 July 2011


9th June 1934 - 30th July 2010
I love this picture. When we were younger, broken up from school for the summer, we would go down and spend a week with Nana and Grandpop. It was a treat because it always seemed to be sunnier down south, and the garden was perfect for playing in. It had a jungle at the bottom which Grandpop would wheel us round in a wheelbarrow, probably doing his back in a little more each year as we got bigger. Every visit we'd look forward to one evening when Grandpop would get the beast of a BBQ out, and we'd all sit out in the garden, often in our pajamas and be treated to barbecued bananas with ice cream for pudding - his speciality.

I think this photo must have been taken on arrival one summer, and i just love the look of excitement on mine and my brother's face, waiting to hear the end of Grandpop's story so we could open the little presents he would dangle in front of us.

Happy summers well spent.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Nantwich Show

Yesterday was spectacular. Alice and I donned our wellies (despite the ground being bone dry) and stomped into the show. It was very busy, and the sun was blazing down, so we wasted no time in finding shade in the cheese tent. Tent is a bit of an understatement, it was huge. We picked a route, and methodically worked our way round each stall, trying a sample of everything on offer.

Half way round, we had to step outside for a breath of fresh air, and a bottle of water. The cheese-fumes were making us feel slightly heady and disorientated. Break over, bottle of water in hand, we stepped back in and carried on like troopers and finished our first lap. We had planned to do a browsing lap, then a buying lap, but we both ate so much on the first walk round that neither of us felt much like buying anything.

I did however buy the Man Candy a truckle (great word) of Cornish Yarg, flavoured with wild garlic. I was introduced to Yarg on a family trip to Cornwall a few years ago and it has been a firm favourite since. It's a cows cheese that's usually wrapped in nettles, however the one i bought was wrapped in wild garlic leaves, which gives it a lovely soft fresh garlicky taste.
A brilliant day, that had a lot more than just cheese to offer. Next year i'll be buying my ticket online, as they're about £5 cheaper than on the door. Can't wait to go again.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Nantwich Cheese Festival

Today Alice and I are going on a rather cheesy adventure to Nantwich. It's the annual International Cheese Show, and we are both extremely excited at the prospect of so many free samples. Photos and stomach pumping to follow...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Summer Salt

A Personal Preservation Project
We are constantly evolving, every second, minute, hour, day, week, and month of every year. Observing, consuming, working, doing, wanting, waiting, interacting, desiring, developing and changing – and all of these complex interrelationships and many more affect our views, habits and behaviour, every decision that we make influences what happens next in our lives and has impact on others and the wider world around us.
As societies have evolved they have always made attempts to preserve and store their daily experiences by using various visual languages, methods and techniques, from chalk on walls, paint on canvas, words in books, musical scores, recording static and moving images.
How can we classify, quantify and measure the changes of these complex evolutions?
This is going to be a personal investigation in which you will be observing yourself in macro detail over the next few months and then making sense of the information by visualising the data collected.


What are you going to collect and how are you going to do it?
Design a way to record your daily activities over the summer months; this could be in the form of a questionnaire, visual dashboard, diary, visual journal, series of charts, apps etc.
How can you reduce your daily activities into quantifiable information?
Is it through a series of tick boxes, segments, shorthand, scientific models, tallies, graphs, pictograms, charts, tables, a series of photographs, film or some other method?
What criteria should you include?
The information gathered could be physical, mental, emotional, subconscious activity, economic, relationship interactions, changes in geography, environment, the weather, what you consume, distance travelled, time elapsed, sensory factors, multitasking, sleep patterns, brands which you come into contact with, websites visited, tweets made, the music you listen to, even concurrent activities happening outside of your immediate environment which have impact on your day.


Go about your daily business, work, eat, sleep, go on holiday, let your hair down and have a well-deserved rest. But at the end of every day record your daily activities onto your beautifully designed measuring apparatus.
Part 3

Now you have to do something with all of this information which you have gathered about yourself and analyse, arrange, order and visualize it all into some kind of holistic narrative, find patterns, make sense of yourself and the activities you have encountered. What insights have you discovered? Create graphs and charts, map your movements, and design pictograms/icons that can represent you and your experiences. Think metaphorically; even relate what you have done to a wider cultural context. Based on these findings try to predict what will happen next. Its what you do with the data at this point, which will be the really interesting part of this project and will show how ambitious you really are.

What would be the best way to present this information? The format is up to you, it could be in the form of a wall chart, an annual report, fold out map, info graphic poster, newspaper, editorial, documentary, interactive media etc. Whatever way you decide to interpret this data, we would like you also to produce an A3 poster, which will present your findings as a signpost/teaser campaign to your body of output.

Time to get recording...

Friday, 22 July 2011

Bangers & Crash Anyone?

 I never quite appreciated the importance of a kitchen, until ours got demolished at the beginning of this week. We've been living in this house for ten years, and the kitchen has always needed 'doing', but because it's such a huge job, it's always been benched as a job that will be done 'when the time's right'. Turns out it's never the 'right time' to invite a bunch of burly strangers into your house, navigate the placement of a large skip, and retreat to the loft where the banging and crashing doesn't quite sound like the apocalypse is nigh.
However, everyone's taking it in their stride and getting on with things quite admirably. The kitchen's reached the point where turning back is not an option (see picture), so the only thing for it is to plow on, and retreat to a safe distance.
I am quite looking forward to when it's finished and i can do a 'before & after' post.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Vitamins, Minerals & Nice Packaging

I've always been been pro-vitamins and minerals, but from food, not a bottle (unless medical circumstances mean one requires extra help) but i have to say i really find the packaging of these Origin Dietary Supplements really appealing. I love the simplicity, and the hierarchy of the information. I enjoy that there's nothing more than the necessary type. I think they work really well, I want to collect them! Probably not that healthy really...
Designed by Wink

Friday, 15 July 2011

Jetty Images

 photo by Fran Lightbound
Lately i keep stumbling across images of piers and jetties, and feel a sense of longing to be near water. I'd love to scurry away to a secluded cabin by a lake and have camp fires and row boats. 

 Do you know anywhere like these places?

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Letterpress & Sunny Mornings

I've had friends to stay for the last day or so, and whilst it's been wonderful catching up and being silly, it has meant that this bit of space has been left rather forgotten. This morning the last friend left and i have been pottering round the house feeling a bit lost since the sudden lack of people. It's a beautiful day outside so it seems like the perfect opportunity to go and sit in a sunny spot and start on one of the books the BBC art department bought me. The one i've been really excited to delve into is called 'Letterpress: The Allure of the Handmade' by David Jury. I'm not really sure what to expect from it, but from the front cover (always judge a book by its front cover) it looks to be
fairly promising.

I'll let you know how it is.

Friday, 8 July 2011

That's a Wrap...For The Time Being

My three week stint at the BBC is over. It's been such good fun working there, and i've met some fantastic people that i hope i'll see again some time soon. The Art Department got me two great books (one of them i'd been looking to buy for ages - how flukey!) as thank you presents, which was really sweet, and everyone signed me a card. I hope i get to work with them again some day, i really enjoyed myself. 
The face on the printer won't mean much to anyone except the Art Director, Rosie. Over the last couple of weeks i have watched her struggle with, argue and scold her printers as if they were her own children. I thought it would be nice if one of them seemed pleased to see her on Monday morning...before the shouting and hitting begins.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Back & Forth...and back again

This week i've still been imposing myself on the BBC. I'm getting to know the ropes now, and what everyones roles are. Now that filming has started, stress levels have noticeably risen and the pace of work has become more erratic. The art department are looking more sleep deprived than the previous week, as suddenly all sorts of niggling little problems have arisen. 
The Art Department
This is the office i spend most of my time in when i'm not running after someone trying not to get lost. I sit at my desk in the corner and offer assistance whenever it's needed, even heavy lifting. I see-saw from being extremely busy and helpful, to looking like a spare part, when there's physically nothing for me to do. The posters up on the wall are there as inspiration for the main characters bedroom...they don't depict the art departments musical tastes in any way...I don't think.