Friday, 22 May 2009

Some kind of anniversary...

It was twenty two years ago this very day that me and The Lady Brenda moved to Cramlingtonvilleshire. As I write she is driving home from our daughters in Essex and no doubt we will raise a glass tonight to acknowledge the fact. The second and third glasses will celebrate the anticipation that we will not make it twenty three years in this house.... but will by then have moved and become Whitleybunions once again.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Postscript... 'Another New Library'

Just read today that the singer/songwriter and Newcastle United fan Ronnie Lambert passed away in his sleep at the age of 58. Ronnie composed the 1980's local hit 'Home Newcastle', which is the foot-tapping, geordie anthem tune behind the movie on my recent post Another New Library. I'm kinda hoping that his demise is not an omen for Sundays action at Villa Park!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Syttende Mai (Seventeenth of May)

Congratulations today go to Norway, celebrating not only providing the winning entry last night in the Eurovision Song Contest, but also because today is the nation's national day. I am thinking of my friends in Norway today, and imagine they are getting ready for their own local celebrations and town processions, such as the one I took part in Kaupanger (Sognefjord) in 2002. The good thing that struck me about being part of these celebrations was that there was a beautiful, almost naiive, simplicity about it all. The parading with national flags is not viewed as expressing some extreme nationalistic desire to exert dominance and control, but rather a simple joy and love of ones' own nation and its freedoms.

In 1814, the Kingdom of Norway broke away from Denmark after 400 years of being under Danish control. On May 17 of this year, a constitution was established by the Kingdom of Norway at the Constituent Assembly at Eidsvold, and, although Norway was part of a kingdom with Sweden until 1905, Norway has chosen the Seventeenth of May (Syttende Mai) as its day of liberation and celebration. This day is celebrated in Norway with parades of dressed-up children and adults carrying flags and singing.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Another new library

Sunday June 7th sees the opening of another new library in Newcastle. It looks like a right smashing pile of glass and steel, and will no doubt enhance the city skyline. Here's a nostalgic look at the demolition of the old library, with some nostalgic foot-tapping Geordie music to accompany it. I can actually remember the library BEFORE the old library!... but I doubt if I'll be around to see the library that replaces this new library... if you see what I mean.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

I know your Type #8 Futura

Futura is a geometric sans-serif designed between 1924 and 1926 by Paul Renner. It is based on geometric shapes that became representative visual elements of the Bauhaus design style of 1919–1933. Commissioned by the Bauer type foundry, Futura was commercially released in 1927.

The family was originally published in Light, Medium, Bold, and Bold Oblique fonts in 1928. Light Oblique, Medium Oblique, Demibold, and Demibold Oblique fonts were later released in 1930. Book font was released in 1932. Book Oblique font was released in 1939. Extra Bold font was designed by Edwin W. Shaar in 1952. Extra Bold Italic font was designed in 1955 by Edwin W. Shaar and Tommy Thompson.

Although Renner was not associated with the Bauhaus, he shared many of its idioms and believed that a modern typeface should express modern models, rather than be a revival of a previous design. Renner's initial design included several geometrically constructed alternative characters and ranging (old-style) figures, which can be found in the typeface Architype Renner.

Futura has an appearance of efficiency and forwardness. The typeface is derived from simple geometric forms (near-perfect circles, triangles and squares) and is based on strokes of near-even weight, which are low in contrast. (This is most visible in the almost perfectly round stroke of the o, but the shape is actually slightly ovoid.) In designing Futura, Renner avoided the decorative, eliminating non-essential elements. The lowercase has tall ascenders, which rise above the cap line. The uppercase characters present proportions similar to those of classical roman capitals.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

More Berlin pics...

I've posted an album of Berlin pics on Facebook if you're interested.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Supper and dancing

Yesterday evening we were out for supper at our friends Terry and Kate. Mike and Christine were also there and the food was followed by a masterclass in neat footwork from M & C, who are experts in the 'swing' stylee. The 'Charleston Stroll' was soon mastered by us with more than two left feet, and from there we went on to further foot trickery of the 'Lindy' variety. A great night of fun and friendship.

Anna drops by...

It's always great to get a visit from a good friend, and the other evening we were delighted to welcome Anna for some supper and an overdue catch-up. We took Gracie for a walk over the field under the banner of an amazing sunset.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Ich bin ein Berliner

It seems (contrary to urban myth) that John Fitzgerald Kennedy got it spot on when he uttered this famous phrase beside the Berlin Wall on June 26th 1963. We have just returned from a wonderful visit to this amazing city, where recent history tugs at your sleeve at every street corner. Here is an image so resonant for many of us, the Brandenburg Gate, an entry point to a city where contention has been the name of the game for many years. Nowadays you can stand in front of it and get your picture taken (if that's your bag!) with mock Russian and American troops, complete with flags. This is of course to prove that since the Berlin Wall came down we are all buddies now. As Dick Gaughan once said; "maybe putting it there was our first mistake"! More pictures to follow in due course.