Monday, April 30, 2007

corny >> predictable

yes I know this picture is corny and even predictable.
so to set the scene I was rushing home to get in take the dog out, change and rush out again to go and collect ben from the child minders. I was late, as I had spent time at work sorting out .pdf files that were part of re-structuring a web site using a more naturally creative way of doing things. the basis of the idea was to save time for the user by making the front end intuitive and useable so that everything they need is on one page, only what they choose is downloaded so making the website very readable and text light.
any-way in my rush, cross with the rain and the sun at the same time I just glanced at the grasses and noticed the tiny droplets of water. I had to take a photo without my proper camera handy I only had my blackberry. the camera on it is ok so I took some pictures, this is just one.
I thought a while the colours and the water made me relax a little, I stopped rushing still got to the child minders in plenty of time to get ben, happier for the tiny break to look at something corny and predictable, oh well that's me then.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

two things >> one very achey man

I did two things today

1, I played in a game of rugby parents (I was one) versus the team (children, ben was one) I hurt a lot now but I am very glad that I played I even scored a try, and protected my shoulder with my face! after the game the royal navy air sea rescue helicopter visited publicity / recruitment that sort of thing.

2, I went to the 'favourite beach' where I realised that the grasses I love and grow in my garden are the same grasses that grow on that beach. I had never noticed it before and I have been to that particular place / beach probably many hundreds of time since I was a small child.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

torch >> recharging >>99p

it is not often that I find something (apart from the occasional food stuff) that I actually like in a morrisons supermarket.
I had gone to the dentist with ben we both had check ups great nothing wrong so I am free from the dentists chair for another year!! ben has to go back every three months as they are monitoring his new teeth as they come through (he is 8). the dentist is near morrisons so we dropped in to get some bits (as carol says).
while we were there carol pointed out this torch. I am sure that it was produced in china under bad conditions of overwork and underpay. just looking at the design and the function and had to buy one (well we bought two). the torch is selling for 99p, as it works using dynamo system and no batteries it should have a much longer life, the batteries alone for most torches would cost more than a pound.
I thought I would post it I realise that it is nothing new, both wind up radios and torches have been used across the world for more than ten years largely thanks to trevor bayliss.
it was more the place and the price that I found interesting. its not to get you to rush to morrisions (as it probably would not be worth it) but just to make you think that things do not have to be expensive to make a difference.

batteries are so difficult to breakdown when dumped in land fill and at least this torch though plastic does not need batteries and actually feels nice and I think looks good as well.
at 99p, I do worry how a profit can be made on it with out exploitation, I wonder whether the workers who make/assemble the torch have the opportunity to have their children's teeth checked every three months without charge?

(morrisons press release fair trade coffee in their cafes)

Friday, April 27, 2007

france >> the french >> design

really is just a short post today as the pictures will hopefully talk for themselves. recently I was in a well know discount store in our city and I was very tempted to but for £3.99 a printing set that was french designed, (made in china I expect).
it had all the alphabet and most associated symbols and a kind of composing stick to place rubber movable type in order to create your custom made personal or business letter head. self load as far as ink as each time you put in back in its self contained holder it would reload the letters. a bit like the ones you can get in most stationers like the one (left) but its packaged in french. so to my eyes it looked cool.

back to the reason for this post I received a very welcome letter this morning from france nothing that unusual but it was from a place in france that we are planning to visit and stay (with my faamily). I noticed the use of a hand stamp as well as the signature of the camp-site owner.
I really liked and thought I should have bought the £3.99 french printing set it had rubber pictures/graphics as well, I bet if I go back it will have sold out.

I just thought I would share the letter stamp and the post mark as I like that too! in case you are worried we I do not go caravanning! we are taking two tents.

john bull printing set
rubber stamps
french postmarks

Thursday, April 26, 2007

at the beach >> looking down

as much as I look up when I walk around towns and cities I also look down at the beach , not just to avoid the (dog mess), have to say I have in recent years that is much less of a problem than it used to be.
you see the most amazing things. this was just one day in late winter at a beach very near where I live in cornwall.

the last of the winter storms had brought up a lot of kelp as well as man-made stuff.
as is clear much of the material is harmful and will take years to breakdown.
I do like the way the colours work but feel guilty for it.

any way I thought I would share the pictures.
for more information about what can be done to help with keeping our beaches clean
check some of these links.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

rockin' burne jones >> the remarkable family

I do believe that for the most part it is all too easy to find fault with the internet. social networking myspace bebo and the like. it is a bit like blaming the messenger/medium for the problems of the world, well the world that considers information transfer (talking) as important.
I have been very disillusioned with the internet at some points in the last years, especially when my surf site was hacked to pieces leaving me with more than 24 hours of non-stop work just to get the site back online after re-formatting everything server side. I know that it was done on purpose but have managed to not take that episode personally so am able to happily continue with the site. I still love the way the cyber-world opens up and when sensibly used, adding hugely to our lives.

any way to the reason for this post. it may not come as that much of a surprise to many of you but whilst I was at art school (and before and after) I was in a few different bands, playing at the students union and other places in the local area around college. even reaching heady heights with a different band.
by far the most memorable for me was a band, perhaps rather obviously called rockin' burn jones and the pre-raphaelites. I had heaps of fun with the band as their lead singer, but when it came to deciding between trying to be a designer therefore concentrating on getting through my course or trying to make it as a musician the decision was made for me to leave. at the time the driving force behind the band howard was ready to become the singer as well and he and the band changed the name and moved to london to become the remarkable family that was in 1982 and I haven't spoken to howard at all until today! there was no big falling out we just went in different directions. but through a third party he emailed me this morning through myspace.

I now have happily revisited that time in my mind all thanks to web-world. howard is still recording and producing music, as well as writing, and reviewing music for the better national newspapers.
check this page on myspace the remarkable family >> the great unknown.
if you do check the site and like what you hear, please let howard know that david george sent you, many thanks.

p.s. paradox is my favourite track.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

surfing >> moby picture >> Go2

I don't want to turn this blog an extension of my surf web site surf98, but I have to include this picture as I like its composition so much.
it is not a picture I took myself rather a picture I would have liked to have taken. my man on the north coast 'moby' took it this morning it was amongst a few pictures he set to be included in the forecast page of the site. the fence is the border of the golf course at fistral beach, newquay, cornwall. so the picture is taken from a good distance away.

what looks like a black dot is a surfer waiting for a set wave to take, gives the waves a scale.
whilst on the surfing subject I have to say I have been surprised at the positive comment already for the first article in the new magazine I mentioned in yesterdays post Go2. I am sure that a few will have bad things to say but that goes with the territory when you write you views down in ink!

sorry for another short blog today but I seem to be extraordinarily busy at the moment (this is a good thing).

Monday, April 23, 2007

grass seed >> frog >> Go2

just a quick post tonight, as it was wet and raining this evening I thought it would be a good time to get some grass seed on the parts of the front garden that are worn. while I was spreading (in the rain) the seed with an open hand the frog literally jumped into it. I only had a short time to take a picture before I let it go in the next door garden.

please accept this has nothing to do with all things french that I have been talking about in previous posts, just a coincidence.

I for the first time saw the my surfing column in the new cornish based 'Go2' lifestyle magazine. it was strange to see it as although it had been very slightly edited. it was only the last section that had been left out just because it was a self contained story and I was over my 2000 words any way. nice to see work in real print.

Go2. A new FREE magazine that enables you to GO2 do what you want in Cornwall and Plymouth.
Coverage of the best in art and entertainment.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

dijon mustard >> toilets

my earliest memory of dijon was as an eight old child driving with my family through france on the way to a wedding in switzerland in a white vw camper (left) it was 1969.

dijon was the place that for the first time I saw squating toilets, (or turkish toilets as the french call them) still popular in many areas of france, indeed across the world just not on the UK. you needed to squat on two foot shaped raised areas and complete your toilet functions into a hole. at eight in a different country I was bemused I thought I had walked in to a strange sort of shower, my mother explained and I had no trouble with the idea or their use ever since.
the experience has always made me think well of dijon as it was also that I had some what was loosely called french mustard perhaps a strange thing for an eight year old to be trying I don't think so.
I will search out dijon mustard where ever I am. luckily for me my father in law lives just south of dijon so if I can't get my favourite mustard he will bring me some on his regular visits to us. this year I will be able to buy it from the makers as we plan to visit in the summer holidays.

every year for the past five I have been part of a group of teachers who take forty, year nine students to the ardeche river and the mediterranean for a nine day water sports trip as part of their activity week within term time.
every year so far at some point I have had to explain to a handful of students what the 'strange holes' in the toilet block floor are. I think it is odd that the current generation are still as surprised by them as I was in 1969.

I still love dijon mustard though, so perhaps things don't change!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

the hammock

one of the best things I ever did when I set up an area in the house to work (when not at work) if that makes sense. was to put two hooks in the walls each side of an alcove that doubles as a dining area. in which we have a square table, a couple of computers, and the dogs crate on one side on other side is a round dinning table.

when we have family staying and we have to juggle bedroom space or when I fancy an afternoon relax I get my parachute hammock (carol bought it for me when I was away in france a couple of years ago) hooked up using a couple of climbing caribinas. (I love caribinas)
today was such a day I cut the grass in the front (its a very small garden so it is not much work) and generally took it easy outside in the beautiful spring sunshine. then came in an put up the hammock and had a lovely snooze ZZZZZZZZZ ......

Friday, April 20, 2007

intense >> too serious >> sponge bob

firstly, over the last few days my real work has been intense and I have been in working a stressy and not very productive way. I have noticed that the blogs I have been posting seem a bit heavy, rather long and a little rambling.
so I decided too lighten it a little and post a picture especially for micky in france.

secondly, I just have to direct you to davidthedesigner's blog for today the 20th april '07 it is a great true story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

meetings >> designing >> what do you use?

I apologise for the rambling nature and poor grammar of this post. perhaps I should have planned it in pencil first?

I have just come out of that (two hours plus) meeting I mentioned in yesterdays blog, it was very productive that is not something I can always say.

during the meeting I was struck by they different way the people involved chose to record their thoughts or used to bring their ideas to the meeting. taking in to consideration the make-up of the meeting, it included two people from an ICT (information communication technology) background, two from a design technology background (with four with a science background for the first half of the meeting) then ending with a longer discussion of design technology at the end. all the people present would by the nature of their work and qualifications would generally be thought of as academics.

I always take my filofax making sure I have got fresh plain paper and lined paper in, all but two had paper based forms of writing either with a pencil or a pen. only one had a pda (personal digital organiser) and one had nothing at all, I felt jealous that I didn't have the courage to not bring anything but myself, surely it is showing extraordinary confidence or that they couldn't care at all. knowing the person I have to say the former is the truth.

I thought more, with the assembled at the meeting all of whom work on computers every day, and all being computer/technology literate. why did no one bring a laptop? why did only one use a pda? and how is it the tool of choice for most a pencil?

then I thought more the one person using the pda is probably at least 15-20 years younger than the rest of us who where writing. the only one in the same age bracket as pda man was the person who didn't bring anything but his thoughts. I know others around the table have pda's and all have laptops of some description. I have a pda (i-paq) in fact I have had two, I gave one to carol and now I use the other as a sat-nav. I tried to use the first one I bought instead of the filofax after about 6 months I stopped I could just not get on with it I felt it made me think far too slowly, I was becoming bound by the software.

If I am trying to put an idea down visually I will always now start with a piece of paper (nearly always A3). even when it is for a web idea's or something with a digital outcome. this was not always the case up until a couple of years ago I would design totally on screen but I started to find that the ideas were being driven by the software and I started to design to the software specifications which became very limiting.
I would be interested to hear if I am the only one who works like this? do you design directly on your mac or (pc). do you still use a pencil and paper? is it an age thing? when I learnt to write we used paper and pencils then ink-pens when we went to the junior school! it would be nice to hear from you, if you have managed to get to the end of this!?!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

skateboards >> skimboards

after yesterdays post and with the continued great weather in cornwall I started the thinking of the beach and all things summer. it has been rather poor for surf over the last few weeks especially on the south coast so I though it must be skimboard time!! after all sunny evenings a flat sea not that many visitors yet, and the beach only an 8 minutes walk away!! I thought about it around midday carried on thinking about it while trying to explain to a group of over hot students how to make a an animated flash banner to insert into the dreamweaver created website, in the early afternoon. while also replanning a room in my head and trying to remember if I was collecting ben from the child minder?

by the end of the day I had completely forgotten my skimboarding idea, when I did get home I had that horrid feeling that I had forgotten something, (you like left something on a train or not locked the house) it wasn't ben he was already home with carol, it wasn't work related had my laptop and layout paper (more drawing tonight) . I had my blackberry, filofax, pencil & memory sticks, so not lost of left anything.

oh well I thought I have a cup of coffee while carol and ben went off shopping. more phone calls and another coffee then it came back to be 'skimboard time', by then it was getting a bit late and it would probably be cold and any more excuses, oh yes I could take a photo of it and put it on here.

oooppps! I have just used a list even with a photo as an excuse for not doing something! maybe tomorrow (no, I have a meeting) probably the weekend then?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

more on the hub >> skateboard fun?

I said in yesterdays post that 'the hub' thing would be continued, and in a sense it is being as tonight I am going to spend some time away from a computer creating some pencil drawn visualisations for another project but pretty much born out of 'the hub'.
sorry to be cryptic I can't say much more as like so many things we do in design-land so often the thinking is done, the images created and the expectation ends in nothing. so enough 'the hub' will return..........

to the second and totally unrelated part of today's post it has been sunny again as has most of the UK. and my thoughts for a while drifted to summers past. a major part of summertime when I was young was long days with no surf (still true) with nothing to do but hang out (well that's changed) something most surfers do through days like that would be to go skateboarding.

now you must have realised by now that I am no longer a young man but I still go skateboarding. I considered today perhaps that I should skateboard the journey to work each day. then I remembered a day in sunny (all excepting?) brighton having a lovely time weaving in and out of people on the long flat promenade, until I was actually stopped by a friendly looking middle aged couple who said without sarcasm "aren't you a bit old to do that dear". I was in my mid 30's then, and what's more it was over 10 years ago!! but I live in cornwall it would be fine no-one would care if I was 99 and naked skateboarding is so common place.

so when I got home today I went straight for the skateboard to have a quick skate ready for the short journey to work tomorrow morning. I haven't been 100% in the last few months I have moaned on before about having major problems with my shoulder and stuff. my legs work so I didn't think it would be a problem.
well all I can say is that it didn't go too well. I will not be skating to work in the morning. trust me you need both shoulders working properly when you try a hand-plant tail-slide on a steep cornish road.

anyway my skateboard still looks nice!

cool skateboard sites
powell skateboards
skurfboards blog

Monday, April 16, 2007

its back to 'the hub' >> I am still trying

I haven't given up on 'the hub', I have mentioned it on this blog a few times.
it is a silly idea really, not because it wouldn't work as I believe it would but it would be just too expensive, and unless created in its entirety it would not have the same impact.

I don't now why but it has continued to make me think about the use of space in an educational situation and will still for a long time yet.
I have clearly seen that students or learners of any age react to their surrounding in such different ways but one thing they all do it respect something that had been designed with their use and only their use in mind, rather than something that just looks good.

futurelab have some really good stuff on their web site but it still follows the classroom model, in the original sense. however I like their (now unfortunately closed) invitation for ideas to create a better working and study space for learners.

I think what I am trying to say is that students are led to believe that a classroom must be quiet and the teacher speaks and the students listen the process is then repeated over and over for an hour. then they move on to someone else (another teacher) doing the same thing in another room that looks the same. in the later years of education I believe it is not really preparing them for employment or further vocational study because the situation is so different to the work place.

I know when I am studying I usually like it to be quiet but I well remember not to far from the college I graduated from there was a pub full of books looking as much like an old book shop or library as it did a pub.

it did get very lively in the evening yet within that environment some of us read books, often books we would not have even given a second chance in a way that was alien to us but good fun.

that said I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not advocating student of any age drinking alcohol in classrooms.

I do think that consideration to different solutions has to be found. just consider most of the larger waterstones book shops have a costa coffee shop in them to encourage browsers to spend more time thinking reading and in the end buying, a result as far as retail.

here are some current educational space practitioners web sites to have a look at if you are interested further.

to be continued....................

Sunday, April 15, 2007

another skateboard video >> but with a difference

yes I know it is only two days ago that I was saying how lazy I had been posting two videos in a row but I had to put this one up.
it must have taken ages to make and not only that but finger skate boards I have found are harder to master than the full size ones, as anyone who has read this blog for a while or who knows me I have skated as well as surfed for more than 30 years!
my friend micky from france, probably saw this ages ago as it was made by alexis milant another cool french guy and has been doing the rounds I think on french blogs. any way give it a chance if you like it let me know.

film by alexis milant email: alexismilant ( at) gmail (dot) com

as I have been thinking about france and I have to say I really like the stubbornness of the french, especially in design not to pander to the english/americian mould of web use-ability instead as with so much they create their own.
two more french more sites to check french language based search engine/fact finder a free web creation site but a bit better?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

thinking >> it's just words

I spend hours and hours keeping up to date with both (ICT/enterprise) educational thinking as well as current business practice.
I worked in the real world as a designer, and a retailer before hiding away in the comfortable world of education! (well perhaps not that comfortable but for different reasons).
but I find myself spending more and more time reading only half the book, the first couple of pages of an academic paper or a .pdf document only to get bored at the point when I realise that so much of the stuff I am reading is probably just common sense wrapped up in a well designed cover, perhaps by some-one who hasn't even read the book, or 'just words' telling me the same thing.

whether it is web usability or information architecture, even planning for business success through a multi layer intranet. I have say that some stuff I have seen and read lately simply is just not very good, that said I am still a great fan of jakob neilsen and the useit web site.

I keep thinking about what my photography lecturer (in the late 70's) said to me when I was trying to measure to perfection where I was going to put my lovely art school 'black and white photo', using a really clean stainless steel ruler and my finest mechanical pencil spending ages and then finding that it still looked a bit wonky. I also remember feeling a certain amount of horror as he took the photo away from me and picked up a new clean piece of mounting board and with out measuring it at all put it in exactly the right place, saying "if it looks right it is right", but then it's just words, or is it common sense?

Friday, April 13, 2007

what more surfing >> design has not been forgotten

I feel a bit bad/lazy having two posts in a row with a video from youtube in them.
gabes sent me the link and it made me feel so happy I had to share it.
it has such a great feel about it really makes me remember just how many great days at the beach I have had with hopefully many more to come.
even the song is written by: (b. gallagher/g. lyle), who funnily enough I went to see at the brighton dome in 1976, with due reverence to davidthedesigner's post today with the fabulous stevie wonder youtube clip, giving me an idea.
granted gallagher & lyle live was not the best concert I have ever been to but the surf film is so good and the music fits it.

strange then at the same time I was in deep consideration about some of the interesting thoughts muted by digital nomad & others got side tracked in to looking at fusionview however both blogs are well worthy of a look.

I am the one who introduced the 'innovation equation' you know (insight/ideas/impact) in to the conversation but I do like the idea that information + experience = knowledge taken directly from soho-quest friday the 13th post.

perhaps I should watch the donavon frankenreiter (green board-shorts) & rob machado (multi coloured board-shorts) surf clip again? yes, do you I think I will.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

surfing stuff >> tidal bore waves >> amazon

here in cornwall we have been blessed two weeks of beautiful sunshine weather but no surf of any real quality, so it has made me think of other places and ways to surf.

I have always had a fascination with tidal river bores waves. ever since I saw michael barrett on nationwide in the early 70's introduce I think it was bob wellings reporting from the river severn as the bore wave was coming past. it had people in canoes (a swear word to some surfers), people in boats and a fair number of surfers on long boards. in over 30 years of surfing I never even watched a bore wave, never mind surfed one.

the severn bore (bristol channel) is well known across the uk and the world. for a long time rodney stumpter of perranpoth, cornwall held the world record for the 'longest distance travelled by surfing a wave' that was on the severn bore. I am not sure if he still holds it but I think so.

this one is less well known to people in the uk and europe, as it is in the amazon but just take a look if you can spare a moment. it is in fresh water so less buoyant than sea water. it certainly looks as though it is a bigger wave height wise that in the severn bore but I not sure if it is surfable for its full course.
the bore waves are created by a combination of magnetic (lunar) pull and the action of the atlantic tide moving upstream.
I think it amazing considering the surfers not only will have to watch out for trees and other natural debris's, poisonous fish, water snakes, and considered less of a problem piranha fish!

have a look at the blog Fogonazos for a lot more about the wave and the area. it is a cool site worth looking at if you are even only a little bit interested.

I am not quite booking a flight to surf it but I am fascinated none the less.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

back to normal >> if there is such as thing

well enough about the complexity of my family and the posts of the last two days.
back to some observations.
I was in of all places tesco today and was very surprised (I started as a fashion/textiles designer in 80's when ms hamnett was a fashion icon) a katharine hamnett display, in tesco.
it made me think I was surprised perhaps I should not have been but as I no longer follow the fashion business from the inside as my work has lead me to a different side of the business.

I really only get my information from looking about me and reading stuff. I don't have to go to trade fairs that tell the designers what the yarn company's and the colour forecasting company's will be telling what colours will be available the following year and then design stuff for between 18 months to 2 years ahead. which is a bonus as far as I am concerned.

I thought a lot over a tesco coffee (the ham salad was for ben) about whether katharine hamnett had sort off sold out to have a collection of her clothes (well clothes that she adds her name to) on a rack in the largest retailer in the country famous for under cutting other mass-market sellers/supermarkets. even allegedly producing the £3 pair of jeans, which you can buy in the same store using cheap (I did not say slave labour) labour at that price it would nave to be cheap,
the selling points of the tesco/hamnett range is that the E in the name is for ethical, all clothes carry the fair-trade mark and are 100% organic.

I have come to the conclusion that I agree with her, even bought a 'choose love' 100% organic cotton hoody (for carol).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

another short blog

not feeling too great tonight, I spent the most of the day not doing much except worrying about gabes.
poor guy he had a very long journey from here in cornwall to brighton today.
and after two coach accidents and 18 phone calls between the two of us, he is fine and safely back so that's good.

I will have to wait for another day to be inspired.

Monday, April 09, 2007

gabes >> coffee >>

I have only turned my computer on once today and that was to do this no work for a whole day!
the images I have put in the is post today are not random, but considered.
gabes goes back to brighton in the morning, hope you have had a good week (enjoy the surf dvd) and the steaming coffee well I like it. no links today and yes it took less 5 minutes to do this.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

lazy day >> but still posted this

I have been so lazy today all I did was played a bit of very light rugby outside in the sunshine for a while with the my boys. then searched to see if there was any beach to go for a surf. we didn't go any where looked a bit crowded and small.

I know it maybe strange for someone who runs and updates a surf website every day (me) surf98. I live on one side of cornwall and rely on not just computers and forecasts but real people to check that my reports are correct for the other side if I am not going. no-one was around today don't blame them lovely day and beaches to sit on, etc.

I found this link that's really cool not only can you look at the surf on a north coast beach but you can control the web cam as well just when its busy you have to wait your turn is good fun click this

I know Mr Nielsen doesn't like a link to use the 'click this' but still.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

saturday people >> we won

me and my family (except luca back in brighton hopefully revising for his exams) went to the rugby in really warm sunny saturday weather. to watch an always well contested local derby and the biggest crowd of the season also, so a few thousand other people had the same idea. our team won, though it was much closer and more exciting than the score of 19-9 suggests. there was no trouble on the terraces, no hassle parking and walking around the ground was fun. I thought I would take some pictures, during half time to document what it was/is like amongst the crowd. all people there were there to support their teams avidly. there was no segregation of fans but cheering, shouting and even heckling, with opposing fans standing next to each other with only friendly light teasing.
as our team won my lot where very happy as of course I was.
I like these pictures as they are just people, people who I don't know, people who tonight having shared the same experience of watching their team win or lose. they could be happy or sad. they could have been dragged there by someone else and couldn't care less.
I am not someone who looks for crowds or likes crowded places. I prefer space but I like rugby and I like watching good rugby and I did today.

Friday, April 06, 2007

ollie >> skating video

this is ollie smith from brighton.

I have known ollie since he was born, now he is a good friend of my sons, luca & gabriel.
a long, long time ago I used to skate the same streets both in brighton and london. I was born in brighton and lived there before eventually (via hampshire, london, even france for a bit) chose to live in cornwall. as an old has-been I still skate (rarely) but never as good as this.
when I did skate a lot (in the70's & 80's) with people like melvin (before ollie was even born!) it was on days when there was no surf and so we did nothing like this no doubt some old school skaters will disagree.

I added it simply because I think it's such a good video made by people with a passion.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

family eating out >> pizza express, starbucks

today we were in our city again, first to starbucks then after a good look around the shops and the new mall! rather too long in waterstones looking at books is so unbelievably absorbing. as me, carol, gabes (13) and ben (8) were all totally engrossed in books for ages. all we bought was a dr who book (ben) and a small model of stonehenge (don't ask).
we decided to go to eat, now I have probably as much trouble finding somewhere to eat as the fussiest child. I don't eat any meat or cheese but I have started to eat fish in the last few years, so starbucks is fine for a coffee and a snack.
I have always liked italian food and much as english style pizza especially at pizza express is not really italian in the true sense well it is close, much like starbucks isn't only a little coffee shop I am prepared to buy into the world of a corporate money making image. if it tastes ok, does not harm any one, does at least something positive (fair trade coffee, for example) and is designed well.

pizza express is somewhere I can remember going to as a child, it has been around since the mid sixties I know that italian interior designer enzo apicella designed a lot if not all of their restaurants and the corporate identity / logo. I was looking at their logo today while enjoying the meal all with the rest of us and I am sure that is has changed over the years, I have no basis for this just I think it looks different than it did in the 70's. does anyone know if I am right?
any way thats all except to say the idea of having a children's menu at last is nice especially bambinoccino a bit corny but ben liked it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

early post >> hopefully short as well

a couple of people have mentioned today that the last few posts have been to long and rambling so I am going to make this short, I have to get some work done as well.
in the past as some of you will know I never used flowers in my design work. for some reason I have changed I not only embrace flowers in my design work and photos (check my flickr). I also happily wear flower designs have a look at the fabulous billabong shirt I got yesterday (left).

another surf/design related thing that in the past annoyed me was the idea that you had to have a vw camper to be a surfer (I have nothing against vw campers it is the stereotyping of the surfer I hate). well don't worry I haven't got a real one but carol sneaked one in the house in the form of a money box a few weeks ago, and yesterday bought another one. do you know I don't dislike them so they are even allowed to be kept in the kitchen in the area that I sit to have my coffee and work on my laptop when I need to think. is the boring old fart (me) excepting change? I doubt it.

special mention to davidthedesigner for posting two video clips on his blog in the last few days that gave me a very good retro feeling and a laugh as well thanks d~the~d.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

surf-time >> even if there is no surf

strange how having some-one around who is keen to find out about something that you are obsessed with. gabriel my 13 year old son is staying with us for the school easter break and he has started to become interested in surfing not through any major influence form me I have purposely kept away from pushing any of my children in any particular direction. (though obviously if I go on about stuff enough things rub off, gabes also has a rather nice mechanical pencil).
He has spent the last day and a bit asking question after question about when I started surfing and what I did when I was in Spain or France and how big was the biggest wave I have ever surfed, to be honest I love it but I have also got to get the surf article written for the new magazine only got about 700 words I need a minimum of 2000, they are hoping for more.

I relented and did something I prefer not to do with my children (sticking them in front of the TV). I put on some surfing videos from the era of surfing that I grew up with so that I could get on with writing but I ended up watching the films with gabes, and I spent most of the time talking through them he didn't seem to mind.
so I haven't done anything except spent some really good time with him watching 'old school' surfing videos. that isn't a bad way to spend and evening.

I love the way the surfing film became influential as far as lighting, colour and concept, being outdoors, often not telling a story, even creating such quality/inventiveness from pretty much always limited funds.
the surf movie was not often under funded because there wasn't the corporate sponsorship seen so often on the 00's. films were often made by surf obsessed hobbyists, and even some successful surfers would pay for a film to be made with the winnings of a surf contest, including them of course.
the visual impact of the all films we watched tonight was incredible considering they were made more than 35 years ago! it was really nice to see surf films without product placement and sponsors logo stuck all over the place. two stand out as classics crystal voyager and the morning of the earth I fully understand they are not to every ones taste but if you are involved in surfing they are must.

shame really I would have liked to gone surfing tomorrow but the ocean has already decided for us as currently cornwall is not getting any surf and is unlikely to get any before the weekend, but hey that is the way of surfing and part of its attraction. not like football were you all arrange to meet at a certain time and have a game, surfing has its own unique way you surf when the ocean says, I like that, I really like that.

Monday, April 02, 2007

sunshine >> good to see gabes >> a bit like summer

it felt like summer today as we drove across cornwall on a trip to sort out some quite important stuff, we were running late as I had all off a sudden started working on the surfing article this morning (has to be done by the 5th) and carol was waiting for the post.
then over to dhl in north cornwall to pick up a new body glove wetsuit courtesy of surfgirl magazine for carol.
then back down to the city (in devon) for me to sort out my broadband account with orange and pick up a new phone. sorry people but its a blackberry I know probably more than half the people reading this will be waiting for the i-phone (from apple) to reach the uk, but I have to think about the service I use and what I need.
in cornwall if I want to get information from the beach by email I need a phone that I can do that with. I know that blackberry work predominantly with a windows user in mind and the rim technologies are again set to work with microsoft. I got the 8100 so a small phone, and to my eyes at least a nice looking phone, be interesting to see if it is any good?

the indulgence of the day was another visit to mcdonalds for the second time this year, it was my son ben (8) who wanted to go. I was surprised that they accommodated my strange dietary needs, I am vegetarian and don't eat cheese anymore, as you can see from the picture it looks a little odd but it tasted fine, I just can't help fueling the all these american monsters.

then towards evening we went to met gabes another of my sons from his coach journey. he had been on a coach since 9 in the morning and had pretty much seen the whole of the south coast of the uk on route to cornwall. all things considered it was a successful day. that's better much better.