the lake district, minus the rain

lakes 3

With our friend Lincoln visiting from oz we took a long weekend and headed back down to the lake district. Rather than focusing on walking we explored lots of the little villages and visited many of the lakes, with some of the most perfect weather in UK Feburary history showing them at their most spectacular.

lakes 4

Most of the towns and villages are tacky tourist nightmares – packed even at this time of the year, although we unearthed a few gems in the southern lakes near where we were staying, in particular Broughton-in-Furness a proper market town with poetic locals commenting on the depth of the sunset.

lakes 1

The highlights were drives over the mountain passes between regions, spotting future locations for magnificent hillwalking (above), and the odd moment when we discovered peaceful little spots by the lakes away from the main drag, in particular the beach on Coniston Water (top) and the little peninsula that the photos of Ullswater (above) were taken from, which had a cute little boathouse nestled next to it (below).

lakes 2

The surrealest moment however had to be Grange-over-(not quite) sands a victorian seaside town where the local river has changed its course, leaving a swath of boggy salt marshes behind (below), yet the promenade is still full of people taking a turn, observing sheep grazing below them.

For more reflectastic photos check out the flickr set

conniston beach

allotment 08_02_10: the greenhouse part 1

allotment 08_02_10 01

We tackled our less than complete greenhouse as our first significant project. Once we determined that the extisting frame wasn’t suitable for any of the pile of existing windows we have on site we distmantled most of it down to the floor (above). Having clad the back walls with the tin that had unsuccessfully formed the roof previously we then began assembling prefabricated frames from old scaffolding planks to form the front wall. While slightly over engineered they should give us a good substrate for fixing shelves and things once complete – which seems a distant prospect given the after shot below!

allotment 08_02_10 02


snow 3

We had our first proper sticking around snowfall in our new flat! Hopefully the early spring will give us our own Korean collections of photos from our lounge before we move downstairs.

snow 2

immaculatley presented and stylish upper conversion of period townhouse available: fantastic tennants can be included if required

If you have ever wandered what our flat looks like, you can take a sneaky peak here as it is now plastered all over the internets. It could all be yours for a little more than £200 k! The photographs are actually quite poor – they have given our place a delightful eastern european washed out colour palette.

sound in a bin: instal kicks off

instal banner

Glasgow’s avante gard noise festival INSTAL, kicked off last night, although the main event isn’t until next weekend. We missed the early part of the evening, but caught a small part of it in the form of an urban sound performance. A couple of guys who call themselves usurper with a variety of sound producing equipment (of varying ranges of fidelity) performed inside a skip on a street corner in the West End. Although difficult to hear from a distance, up close it was an entertaining quirky mix of sounds. The highlight of the event however was the ride from the kickoff party to the site – a sound art performance by Nackt Insecten on the ‘clockwork orange’.

solitude in a forest of coats

walden small


Last weekend we travelled over to Edinburgh for a taste of culture from the capital. In the morning we followed up our Gillespie Kidd & Coia exhibition visit to take in the Basil Spence exhibition at the Dean Gallery. Another of Scotland’s post war modernists, I found his work much more inconsistent than the Glasgow boys. There were a few gems in there though – including the British Embassy in Rome (below).
basil small
In the afternoon we watched a one man performance by Magnetic North of Thoreaux’s Walden. It was an excellent performance in a photography gallery, with only 25 people sitting in a set design by the interesting auld alliance duo of Sans Facon whose website is well worth a peruse.

With peoples coats hung on hooks behind them creating the forrest, Ewan Donald explored Thoreaux’s philosophy with only a pile of sand and a stick. I found the performance engrossing if a little drawn out towards the end. Many of his thoughts are still relevant right now, especially with our allotment large in our current thinking.

We were alerted to the performance by our favourite blogger BLDG:BLOG who was attracted to the poster for the performance (below) – in many ways if it had been held in a car park it would have been an even more poignant.
walden poster small
Following the performance, our friends Alice & Tom cooked up a feast in their flat in Stockbridge. It was our first time in the area which is full of quirky antique shops and fresh produce merchants with the texture reflecting the West End of Glasgow.

up helly ah

up helly aa

Our friend emma grew up in Shetland, a little series of islands lost somewhere between Scotland and Norway. The last Tuesday in January sees the island banish the dark with the Up Helly Ah festival. While we are a long way from Shetland, Glasgow has been pretty murky through most of January, so Emma decided to host out own equivalent. Apart from potato soup and bannocks (a delicious savoury scone) for dinner, and some tradiitonal scottish folk tunes, Chhay also whipped together our own viking longboat which in true Up Helly Ah tradition we ceremoniously burnt in the local wasteland (above), much to the consternation of local dog walkers.

allotment 08_01_27

allotment 080127

On our first full day with our new space we attacked the existing mess and got the place looking a little bit tidier. Mike also discovered a love for ‘moving things about and putting them in little piles’. We transformed an old bath into our fire pit to burn a lot of the waste (below).

allotment - fire

Chhay & I returned the following day and attempted to fix the roof with a proper shanty town approach of sheets of tin and rocks. Glasgow was then hit by some of the wildest weather in a decade so when we returned last weekend for some more tidying and a strategy meeting regarding the renovation of the greenhouse, most of our day was spent retrieving said sheets of tin from our neighbours garden! With 4 architects involved in our allotment crew there are some great concepts for the shed, execution however might be a different story.