Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Best Birthday EVER!

Just wanted to say a thankyou to everyone (especially Anders) who made my birthday really great. I had LOADS of fun all weekend and am still in a good mood now!

Friday was just a night for hanging out, watching Big Brother, icing cakes, pottering in the garden and generally relaxing.

Saturday was the launch of We Show Up On RadaR's new single on Hello Thor. What a brilliant gig that was. Nick had hatched an elaborate plan to hold the launch in the central library in Nottingham. Seemed like a great idea until Saturday dawned and people stared at us as we made more noise than you should, setting up and sound-checking as quietly as is humanly possible. Still, we made paper chains, set up a stall to sell the afore-mentioned cakes, got the filming all prepped and we were ready to go. And suddenly it didn't seem so weird, in fact it seemed like the most fun ever. Midsr played first while we discovered that cake & wine are a very popular combination and frantically dished out as much of both as we could. Alloy Ark followed and were wonderful - a great voice, songs which sound fresh and yet you feel like you already know each one, really lovely. Finally Andy came on and totally charmed the room. It was so great to see him somewhere where the focus was on listening to the music, rather than chatting or going to the bar and his songs really stood out for it. There were high emotions, laughter and even a very small amount of impromptu singing along. Brilliant. Thanks everyone!



From the top, Anders & Nick, Andy & Blake (a.k.a. We Show Up On RadaR) and Alloy Ark playing to a full room. (Hope you can see in this last pic there was a real mix of people, including some people who seemed to come for the reading and then ended up staying for the music!)


After the gig, we packed away as quickly as possible and me and Anders headed home to transform our mud-patch back garden into this:


Now obviously it looks a little crazy in broad daylight, but in the dusk, with candles and bunting all around, music playing, mojitos BBQ and cuban cigars on the go it felt pretty special to me! Anyway, the party was really fun. It must've been a good night when you're whirling round the kitchen to "Danke Shoen" (from Ferris Bueller) at 4am.

Sunday was my actual birthday and involved a bit of a hangover, pancakes for breakfast, playing on my new DS and a trip to the park with Anders, Jim & Abi. We did all the fun you can do in a park, except for going on the swings... the very reason we went! Still, in about 45 minutes we managed to: eat ice-creams from an ice-cream van, have a race, play 'helicopters' with sycamore seeds, climb a tree, go on a roundabout til we were nearly sick, play football, look at flowers, have piggybacks, do some competitive jumping, make a robot noise with my shoes, stroke a white dog, sing in the bandstand, do cartwheels and handstands, almost attempt a roly poly and more stuff I can't remember. Two thumbs up for Woodthorpe Park!

Anyway, thanks again to Anders and everyone, I had a lovely weekend.

Bex
x

Disney Doubles

This is an interesting little video showing how Disney re-used animations from previous films to make new ones:



Have a look at this website too for some interesting discussions under the main post:
http://boingboing.net/2009/04/13/loop-of-disney-video.html

Lazy film-making and declining standards or clever use of resources?

Bex x

p.s. I really like the song!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

CUBA

Hi there!

Me and Anders have been away for a few weeks, hence the lack of posts, on a trip to Cuba. It was amazing. If you get the chance I would really recommend it to anyone. It's a really beautiful country, with lovely beaches, lush green countryside and all that, but most of all it's a fascinating communist country, trapped in the fifties to a large extent, like a living museum.

Here's a few pics, just to explain a little what I mean:
A shop in the Old Town. When we got back we were a bit overloaded with all the signs, imagery, ads and visual clutter in Britain. That sort of thing is really at a minimum in Cuba. Even road signs. There are only about 10 signs on the whole motorway there, there's about a million here!

A restaurant near where we stayed in Vedado.

This picture illustrates a story which itself neatly illustrates what's so fascinating about Cuba. The building is the American Embassy. In front of it there are 138 flags. In about 2006 the US started to broadcast anti-Castro propaganda from a TV in a window of their embassy. They had messages saying things like "It's a shame that everyone who knows how to run this country is driving taxis". Castro was obviously not happy, so he erected 138 flags in front of their embassy so no-one could see the messages. It's kind of like a piece of public art in a way, the flags make an amazing sound as you stand near them. Plus on the other side there is an area used as a stage... for political rallies and public celebrations. A lot of public space in Cuba seems to be used for these dual purposes - speeches & salsa.

This is a bookshop. Anders read a phrase in a guidebook which has really stuck with us... a modernist gorilla of a building.

The museum of the Revolution.

Wish we were still there!

Bex
x

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Having your ears and brain tickled

On my way to work this morning I had the pleasure of Stephen Fry for company.
I found an old podgram of his and was laughing all over strangers as he pronounced people "fifty types of watery twat" in my ear.

Most enjoyable.
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