The Book of Elvis – by Lily

Lily goes off from time to time and sites down quietly with her pens – like lots of six year olds do – to create something. Usually it’s a card or a picture, but sometimes it’s something a bit more of a ‘project’.

Last week Lily asked me to print some photos of our dog Elvis and disappeared with some paper to a quiet corner on a wet afternoon. The book she made is just lovely – from the DIY spelling to the use of language – it warms our hearts so much to read. Continue reading “The Book of Elvis – by Lily”

Cannondale Six Carbon – my lovely new bike

Had the great pleasure of building up my new bike from Wheelbase on Wednesday night. Just waiting for a slighly nicer day than today to take it for a spin… it’s light, as it looks, and I’m sure it’s going to handle as well as it looks. Decided to stay with the compact chainset for now til the big crits start in the mid summer time. I might as well use those generously twiddly gears for the ridiculously hilly Fred Whitton wide in May. It also needs another 2cm ont he stem – it’s a bit shorter than my last frame – but that’s on order. Continue reading “Cannondale Six Carbon – my lovely new bike”

On The Nikon D200

Phil's GibsonStaying at Phil’s house for a few days over the weekend gave me an opportunity to play with his ‘work’ camera’, the Nikon D200. It was a stunning experience. The inordinately heavy body gave the camera an unrivalled steadiness, meaning that short at low shutter speeds were more likely to come out without camera-wobble. The Tamron lens was reliable and very happy with fast autofocus, even when firing off repeated shots.

Here are a few of my favourite shots from the camera over the weekend.

Half term day out: Crosby and Knowsley

Sands of TimeTaking advantage of the pretty much unprecedented February clear spell, I took full advantage of a day’s leave booked to spend with Lily. Katie’s half term doesn’t coincide with Lily’s which is a bit crap, but we had such a stonking day together – was really good fun.

We set off bright and early to head over to look at the Anthony Gormley installation on Crosby Sands, between Southport and Liverpool. The vista was so impressive in these clear, crisp conditions; it was inspirational. We returned to the car with one sandy, knackered dog, and had our butties (along with some cheeky scrounging avians, see right)Scrounger, then were due to head to the museum in Manchester for the afternoon, when we passed Knowsley Safari Park. The sun was out, it was relatively quiet, and the opportunity just begged us. Some photos here (a mix of proper camera and phone stuff). Ace times.

A great half term day out

It’s Lily’s first ever half term – and yesterday we had the day together – and what a corker it was.

Moore to doWe dropped Katie off at work in the morning then went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to look at the Andy Goldsworthy retrospective – a really good choice. I’ve enjoyed Goldsworthy’s tactile simplicity in his art ever since I first came across his work in the late 80s, but it was lovely to see a five year old girl doing ‘wow’ and genuinely being taken aback by the semi-magical feel to some of the large scale installations. Very satisfying.

A time to ReflectLily was also interested in the other artworks dotted around the sculpture park, and made a point of rushing up to every male bronze figure and ‘touching their diddlers’, almost methodically.

We walked three miles during our trip so were a bit tired when we headed away.

The afternoon took us to the cinema to see Ratatouille – a fantastic film from the Pixarstudios.

Life imitating Google Maps

Google CarpetOscar Wilde said that Life imitates art more than art imitates life.

Here’s a nice thought

At the Royal College of art in London, Robert Sollis has created Google Carpet. Made from individual carpet tiles, each is a square of 185mm. (This corresponds to one pixel of information on the Google Maps satellite image).

Cats in a record shop

Was sent these by email and they made me giggle.

Cat listening to bluegrass:

Cat listening to rap:

Cat listening to AC/DC:

Heavy Metal

Cat listening to Techno:

Rave