Archive: August, 2007

collapse!

collapsed tenement

Hearing a strange rumble late on Monday night we dismissed it as anything significant – only to wake and find that the entire end wall of the next tenement along from ours had collapsed! Thankfully we are in the middle of a row and I think our building is a little bit more well maintained maintained. bbc the herald

image from the bbc until I dl my own photos 

castle anybody?

fordell castle

Instead of needing to arrange a raiding party to storm my old family castle I could now just step up and buy it!

From The Courier

“A HISTORIC west Fife castle has gone on the market.

Once home to flamboyant Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, Fordell Castle comes with a price tag of over £3.5 million—and its own title.

The fully restored 16th century castle is the ancestral home of the Hendersons of Fordell, who were given the lands of Fordell by King James IV in 1511.

It comes with the title of the Barony of Fordell.

Also included in the sale is the restored 17th century St Theriot’s Chapel and crypt, a garden cottage, and 210 acres of landscaped gardens and wooded grounds.

John Coleman of selling agent Knight Frank said, “Properties of this type, this well restored, and with access to Edinburgh, Edinburgh airport, and the central motorway network, come on to the market very rarely.

“The castle’s owners have also taken an active and sympathetic interest in restoration of the main property and the chapel, and in the upkeep of the grounds and gardens which are all in a superb state.”

The property has an entrance hall and vaulted kitchen on the lower ground floor. There is a great hall with a beamed ceiling, secret staircase and engraving depicting the death of the last witch in Scotland, and dining room on the principal floor.

The first floor includes the Laird’s study and master bedroom with views to the Forth while the second floor houses a Mary Queen of Scots room and French bedroom.

Viewing is by appointment with the selling agents, Knight Frank or Savills.”

Now all I have to do is talk to my bosses to arrange a small raise to cover the mortgage!

village orchestra v caydnss

flyer

A few of our friends put on a electronic music showcase on Saturday – giving us a taste of just what the get up to when they hide in their bedrooms hunched over laptops. Held in a local dive the music was good despite a thin attendance due to some of the worst weather of a particularly poor summer (apparently we think it is always like this).

For a taste of what was on offer see:

the village orchestra

bob techno

tersh jetterax

bem (athough our friend Emma decline to play on the night citing production difficulties)

The music on the whole was sound, although some of the samples were a little cheesy  (perhaps deliberately). Bob techno was probably my highlight despite playing at a tempo that teh crowd might not have been quite prepared for at 9 pm. The plan for the next gig is to find a vacant warehouse to make to space a little more atmospheric.

irvine

irvine grass

A couple of work projects have seen me spending a fair bit of time over the last few months down in Ayrshire, a hour south west of Glasgow on the Irish Sea.

irvine 2irvine 2
In particular I’ve been documenting Irvine, a sea-side town that with an interesting harbour that we are exploring the regeneration of. The harbour was cut off from the town in the 70’s by ‘New Town’ development but has retained a distinct character. The harbour lies alongside a marshy wildlife reserve and is dotted with enough old boats to keep me interested while boring the pants off Chhay.

irvine 1

edinburgh festival fever

fuerzabruta

Last weekend we gathered our first taste of the festival glut engulfing Edinburgh. We ducked over for a day trip and squeezed in a fair taste of the gazillion things the Fringe Festival has on offer.

The weather could only be described as ‘Scottish’ so the street atmosphere was a little lacking but we spent the afternoon hiding from the rain at Luke Wright’s Poetry Party, which in addition to being free, showcased some fantastic contemporary spoken word, verging on rap at times. Highlights included Polar Bear, Tim Clare & Joe Dunthorne.

luke wright

We then snuck in a quick insect circus at the Spiegel gardens – and were sorely disappointed when instead of real fleas we were treated to rather more anthropogenic versions.

The highlight of the evening was by far and away the next event. In a big tent down on the Forth of Firth at Leith we experienced Fuerzabruta (top). Part physical theatre, part dance, part rave it is impossible to describe but was easily one of the best theatrical events I’ve ever attended. Check out the clips under >visuals>video for a bit of a taste crazy acrobatics, a clear plastic tank suspended above the crowds head with nymphs sliding around, and a guy running on a massive treadmill pushed through the audience, running through walls – to me it was what a rave should be like.

Wandering out of Fuerzabruta in a slightly dazed euphoric state, splattered in fake blood and covered in water, paper and polystyrene we wandered back to the old town for a crazy outdoor version of Macbeth by a polish company (below), involving limited dialogue (in heavy eastern European accents), motorbikes, witches on stilts and lots of fire. The setting was spectacular, in a quadrangle of the university – thankfully the weather had cleared by this stage – only my knowledge of the play restricted my enjoyment.

macbeth

We got on the last train home exhausted but having gathered a good taste of the festival. We’re aiming to return next weekend for exposure to some of the other festivals on concurrently – the arts festival, film festival and inaugural visual art festival.

highwire

red road towers

French tightrope walker Didler Pasquette recently attempted to walk between 3 of the Red Road Flats (above) – one of Glasgow’s more famous mega housing tower complexes built in the sixties. The event, title Highwire was part of an arts project for the Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Arts. The set-up was fantastic with huge support guys stretching off the main lines connecting the massive apartment slabs in a spidery embrace. There were metaphors a plenty with the symbolic linking of poorly constructed & maintained and much derided high rise towers that are (for now at least) a strong part of Glasgow’s urban fabric. Visiting the site in person reinforced to me how the greatest problems these towers suffer (apart from poorly perfoming lifts) is the terrible manner in which the hit the ground – so stark and without any landscaping on transition zones, and no amenity to speak of.

tightrope walker

The walk turned into a bit of a non-event when Didler (above) made it about a third of the way across the first wire only to decide that it was unsafe to continue due to high winds and therefore backed his way back to safety.

springburn wintergarden

On our way home we crossed through Springburn park and discovered the decrepit Wintergarden (above & below) that is housed within its grounds. While a shame that it hasn’t been restored like its more famous counterpart in the Botanic Gardens near our flat, as a derelict structure it possesses a certain beauty in it’s rib like structure and faded grandeur that fascinated Chhay & I.

springburn wintergarden detail