Saltaire

I thought I would write up a bit about what happened today – Kathryn has gone to bed and it is not yet time for me to hit the hay. It is times like these I feel a deep calm – a sense that all is well with the world – I have my meds to take and a restful night (hopefully) to look forward to. But, what did I do today? We went to Saltaire.

Me and Kathryn went to Saltaire with Scoob & K-Lo. Karen was booked for a Mongolian Dance class. To be honest I was a bit in the dark what the dance class would involve. However, Karen is a seasoned regular on the dance scene in Yorkshire and I was confident she would take it in her stride.

We went to their place for midday and drove in their Fiat 500 to Salts Mill. I quickly called into a pie shop for nourishment (pork pie – 4.75/5) and then we went to Souk. Every time there is a get-together of Middle-Eastern Dancers there is always a specialist market where there are the costumes associated with the dances are sold – there were some there priced at £475!

Next stop was Salts Mill – we worked our way down from the top to the bottom. There were still the David Hockney paintings (marvellous!) on display and we stocked up on a few books.

The books I got from the bookshop in Salts Mill were Norlisk, by Grigoriy Yaroshenko and a copy of Alice Rawsthorn’s ‘Design As An Attitude’ – high brow stuff that is probably a bit above me.

Norlisk is a photo-essay on Industrial Decay in post-Soviet Russia. It is the photography equivalent of a poetry chapbook. It looks like something that I can keep returning to. ‘Design As An Attitude’ could shake me up a bit a designer?

 

 

Karen then went to her class and me, scoob & Kathryn settled ourselves in Fanny’s Ale House. It was a great pub that had escaped the gentrification that had happened to most of the town. It was a good pub with good beer.

I ended up drinking a bit too much and made a tit of myself in the car on the way home, but, Karen was very understanding – Kathryn is curled up in bed and that is where I will be heading now.

Thanks for reading x.

Weekend Round-Up-About 8pm

This weekend has been after a week of quite stressful work and it was good to get out and play. I have been asked to design the web store of a great shop in Town and I have been laying the groundwork for that: wireframes and colour schemes. It is a lot of fun but not something to be taken lightly.

Well, I got the contract – I went to show the proprietor of the shop the wireframe and she was delighted with it. Seems it’ll keep me busy for the foreseeable future.

The only downside to the weekend was eating a Five Guys – great. But, massive potions – it kind of turned in to a Man vs Food thing and by the end of it it had stopped being fun and I was only finishing it to make a statement.

However, I then met up with Scooby & Karen – we went to Harrogate Tap and had a few pints (Scooby paid). It was great to hang out with them. It is nice to be accepted for who I am rather than have to put on airs and graces when I am in public. We scootered off because they wanted to catch Eurovision.

I ended up in Creao Studio, after tea, to record The Parish News. It is not a strong show. I was not in the most lucid of states and I lost the thread of what I was saying most of the time and ended up repeating myself until I struck gold. Here is the show –

I was becoming more and more confused and needed a lie down.

Sunday was good though. I woke and checked my email to find that my May Day Dub Mix had charted at No.81 in the Dub Chart on Mixcloud – not something to be dismissed lightly. Then it was a jaunt down to Major Tom’s to see Big Band Sunday. Here are some photos from the afternoon.

Earth Day 2018

Today, the twenty-second of April is Earth Day – something I was not that aware of until I went on to Google and saw their video promoting it. Still, it is a good excuse to go tree bathing or paddling whilst raising the global consciousness through local awareness.

What did I do – well, it was written in stone – we headed out to the farm to catch up with Sarah, Mum and Dad – Hannah is at a conference and my brother needed to do some work. So, Grannie & Grandpa were asked to look after munchkin Backhouse.

I had an activity bag packed and was on minimal sleep – so was Kathryn after a rough night of Summer Cold. We went over and I made a recording and took pictures – here are the results:

 

 

 

 

iPhoneography

In this blog post I hope to write a bit about iPhoneography. “iPhoneography” is not a term I have plucked from the æther – I have seen a book written on the subject in some Yoot orientated shop when I was out my depth. “iPhoneography” is not about recording sound – as the link to Phoneography would seem relevant (and … given my pass-time) – but it is camera work carried out on a mobile device. An iPhone.

I currently have an iPhone SE – it is necessary for work and I use it to make calls and check out sites I have built. The quick speed offered by the phone is necessary to view sites on the hoof. I carry my phone all places all the time.

It also has an amazing lens.

In effect, I am carrying around a point and click camera all the time. Granted, it is not all the best quality – I could not blow the images up to size and use them for anything more than a 4×3 print – any more and things would get messy. The quality would deteriorate. There is no way I could use the images for fine art prints. But then I could not use a point and click for Fine Art Prints – Black & White Photography Mag describes the iPhone SE as the best option for a budget conscious wallet. Something I am happy with.

However, it has proved a lot of fun trying.

It is a good enough camera but it has been boosted by some fun-time toys courtesy of Andy D. I met up with Andy on Friday 20th April – it was 4/20 but we did not inhale. Instead, I fixed his iMac to have a matching HTML signature to the one I whittled for his MacBook – it was good to be in his and Tracey’s place – seeing the things that they refer too – I hope to reciprocate the favour and do some entertaining for them at some point.

Well, to cut a long story short, I am having a sleepless few hours so I set about using the fun-time toys that Andy gave me as a way of saying ‘thanks’. He gave me a range of lenses that can be fitted to my iPhone. Here are tonight’s results:

I wil create a new tag for iPhoneography HERE. It should prove a lot of fun. More importantly, it should be the carrot and not the stick –  often beat myself up for lack of creativity. I often think that the next camera or gadget will make me more creative. Essentially, tech has got as good as it will do for a good while (famous last words), said a man in the pub – so, I will try and use the equipment I have already got in more adventurous and adventurous in creative ways.

But, then there is the problem of sharing the images – I read in an email this morning that Flickr had been bought out by SmugMug – balls. It will turn into all fur coat and no knickers – less content more style. 500px anyone? My profile is HERE! Shucks – the Tech Progress/Creative Progress crux again … must get on top of that.

Living with Ghosts

I have to state that this post is about the event “Living With Ghosts” as opposed to any health implied topic. Nicola, Scooby & I trundled over to York – it was a haul as it was a strike day and the last train was phenomenally early – Scoob nearly missed the train to York and kerfuffle was avoided by being the level-headed gent that I am growing into ;).

The event in question was billed as –

Poets Oz Hardwick and Amina Alyal explore ways in which we are haunted by ghosts of the past and ghosts of ourselves, in a reading accompanied by music. Oz and Amina have collaborated on numerous past projects, including the Saboteur-shortlisted chapbook Close as Second Skins (2015).

Being a massive fan of both Oz and Amina’s work I was there like a shot. Well lubricated after calling into York Tap we found York Theatre Royal, the Keregan Rooms was our destination.

To be honest – I was a bit unsure about what to expect.

I got there and it turned out to be an afternoon of polite verse: Amina opened with some excellent poetry and then Oz followed being his ineffable, charming self. It was worth coming over just for the verse. A break was achieved and we reconvened for some of the best improvised, spoken-word-inspired, semi-acoustic ambient I have had the pleasure to hear for a long while.

Think Tidswell Noise Collective circa their first album – but good!

They really knew their chops. Oz & Amina were joined by a gifted guitarist who plucked arpeggios and whose fingers moved lightning quick over the six-string.

Top-notch fun. I wish them every success in the future and I hope that York Festival put them on again – including other acts who blur the boundaries, like A Tiding Of Magpies. Here are some guerrilla photos from the event.

Here’s A Photo

 

The above photo was sent to me by my sister, Alison – it was labelled “Fieldgate 88.” Fieldgate is the name of the house where the two older people in the photo used to live. I have good memories of being there. I have put the photograph up here, on Ijo Pona, as a way of bookmarking it and ‘keeping it circulation.’ You never know, my niece may look back on this Blog and wonder what Uncle Sponge was doing in 2018. But, probably not.

The chap on the left, as you look at the photo is younger in this snap than I am now – I am amazed that he managed to cram so much into that short space of time; he had a family of three (in the photo) and a full-time job. It looks like summer and, reading from left to right; there is my Dad, my Brother, Grandpa, Alison, Granny and then me. It must have been mum taking the photo – she is camera shy and never in any images.

At that time I was a shy lad from Norfolk who just wanted to ride his BMX and read about Dinosaurs. I wonder what happened to that BMX … Now I am (still) a shy lad from Norfolk who wants nothing more than to play with computers and make music.

Well, Technically It’s Tuesday

Well, technically it’s Tuesday and I had better write up a blog post about the weekend. What happened? Stuff, sleep & shizzle! Essentially not much much but then Monday opened a cold brewski and joined me for a good time.

Friday night saw me DJing at Jesus Christ Retro Bar as part of the Reggae Night. Jason organises it. It seemed to be a slow burner so Jason went home but then we stayed open for another three hours and I was left to DJ.

Things were peaceful. Ish.

There was the usual “I’ve just got of prison” party and the drinks were flowing. They seemed to enjoy themselves and the music was appreciated by most of the clientele.

“Can I request a song?”

“Sure, but it is a reggae night”

“Stick Beyonce on!”

Saturday and Sunday were just spent working or pottering around the house. I had hoped to go out and record some wildlife at Stavely reserve but fell asleep for six hours instead. The Water Rail shows well near the little hide at Stavely during the winter months – I have been lucky to see it beforehand, no proof but I have seen it.

Monday was spent redoing a client’s site and then I hot-footed it to Swan On The Stray to meet my friend Stewart. The plan was to record a radio show and I intended to celebrate our new found home in America, Oregon. Stewart & I are both going to get broadcast on a new startup station on the dark coast. Yes, it will not be peak time but the fact that people have the opportunity to tune in to us on the FM dial is something that we both like.

 


 

Many pints were consumed and then we tootled off to do the show. The recording of Sound Of Wonder this week, I admit, is a bit of a blur – I managed to get some cans from the second pub we stopped at (I am still nursing one). We’ve reached Episode #98 – not bad.

 

 

Then, on the way home, after a bit of admin and Stewart retiring to his manor for a vegan feast, I took this photo. I am very pleased with it. Edited in Lightroom and shot on a Ricoh GR II.