Thursday, 30 July 2009
I'm looking forward to what should be an exciting and challenging week, where I will hopefully be stretched in my abilities, learn new skills and meet lots of people who are on a similar journey. I'll also be enjoying the hospitality of my lovely sister for some of the time during the symposium, so there'll be time to catch up with her too.
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Here are some photos I took around Newcastle... firstly looking DOWN Grey Street... I spied Cale Cross House, where I used to work on the 15th floor in the early eighties. I could also spy my own first ever studio near the top of Dean Street.
Then looking UP Grey Street... old and new jousting for position?
Then a beautiful piece of street architecture/lettering in the doorway of a redundant shop at the top of Grey Street that I will always call 'Marcus Price'...
Then to the Haymarket. This must have been a splendid hotel to greet weary travellers as they arrived in Newcastle down the A1 from Scotland. It is now the facade of an establishment called 'OZ Bar'
The tower of the civic centre wonderfully reflected in the windows of another new building for Newcastle University.
Monday, 27 July 2009
Next up was Jon Allan, performing with and without his band. The guy had a good voice and is obviously a gifted song writer, but he left me kind of cold, mainly due to his rather annoying stage presence, which included jibes at the band, reference to being in Newcastle (not Gateshead) and finishing every number with "thanks very much folks". Is it me being pedantic, or could he have varied this a bit?
Then it was the turn of The Midnight Ramblers bluegrass band, who I had been looking forward to hearing. They didn't disappoint musically but were a bit too serious looking.... and I DO prefer my bluegrass bands to wear hats, a la Bill Monroe. Never mind, a brilliant set and extremely tight riffs from flat picking guitar, banjo and neat mandolin playing, backed up with a lovely walking bass throughout.
Also spied at the festival was friend Stephen, who was filming the sessions for The Sage.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Later in the day me and Bren took Gracie down to Blyth beach again and had a very nice walk along the coastal path to Seaton Sluice. This was a place I knew well in my youth, as my folks used to take us here occasionally on a Sunday afternoon. Gracie loved all the nooks and crannies in the sand dunes, and meeting other dogs along the beach on the way back. She emerged on one occasion with a large briar branch protruding from her tummy. Bren insisted I got a shot of it before we removed the offending item.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
I remember when they built similar huts along the promenade at WB. They were built on a turntable so that you could turn them to face the sun as it moved across the sky. A favourite pastime of the local kids was to run across the roofs from one end to the other while the occupants ranted and raved at this disturbance of their flask of tea and egg and cress sarnies!
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Saturday, 18 July 2009
We also took Leon to The Mouth of the Tyne Festival last weekend. Good quality acrobat action in Front Street, masses of crowds in the sunshine and a grand day out. Teddy Thompson was on the bill at the castle.... but we had to leave just as he started his set!
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
As a boy I had watched in awe as Yuri Gagarin became the first human in outer space and the first to orbit the moon. I had also watched the various Apollo missions and their progress towards this amazing moment. Just thirty months earlier the missions were seriously jeopardised when a fire killed three astronauts on the command module of the Saturn B rocket during tests. Now here we were, watching this amazing event in world history unfold. For a spectacular moment, as Neil Armstrong took his 'one small step - one giant leap' we could turn our thoughts away from a disastrous war in Asia, from shameful civil rights violations, from the threat of Russian invasion, and from the dreadful death of the president some years earlier who had sanctioned this project to put a man on the moon.
The writer J. Bainbridge summed up Apollo as "a story of engineers who tried to reach the heavens". You can read Dr Christopher Riley's article about the magic of Apollo here.
Monday, 13 July 2009
Sunday, 12 July 2009
We were joined later on by a gaggle of friends who partook of the free plate pie and a beverage or two, then we all drove the five miles back to Weldon Bridge to sample the delights of The Anglers Arms. A lovely Northumbrian evening.
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
A small, select band of partygoers were assembled. Eating, drinking, nattering and laughing were all in evidence... oh, and a small amount of dancing too! Photos were taken, with separate poses for girls and boys for some reason.
Then a complete change of surroundings and company as I joined members of the Northumberland church leaders network for a cliff-hanging prayer session on Lindisfarne on Friday.
During the last few days we have also had the pleasure of the company of our young friend Mandy. We showed her the delights of Whitley Bay (including the compulsory Rendezvous ice cream) on Sunday.
Over the weekend we were dodging the extensive thundery showers, so weren't surprised that our field (the council think of it as theirs!) was shrouded in mist Sunday evening.
Then to underline the range and nature of my diverse lifestyle, I was summoned by friend Nick to take photographs of his fitness training session on Monday for the web site I am developing for him.
Sunday, 5 July 2009
The Caslon types were distributed throughout the British Empire, including British North America. Much of the decayed appearance of early American printing is thought to be due to oxidation caused by long exposure to seawater during transport from England to the Americas. Caslon's types were immediately successful and used in many historic documents, including the U.S. Declaration of Independence. After William Caslon I’s death, the use of his types diminished, but saw a revival between 1840–80 as a part of the British Arts and Crafts movement. The Caslon design is still widely used today. For many years a common rule of thumb of printers and typesetters was "when in doubt, use Caslon," particularly if no typeface was specified. (Hat Tip - Wikipedia)
Several revivals of Caslon do not include a bold weight. This is because it was unusual practice to use bold weights in typesetting during the 18th century, and Caslon never designed one. For emphasis, italics or a larger point size, and sometimes caps and small caps would be used instead.
With the rise of hot metal typesetting beginning at the close of the 19th century, existing foundry metal typefaces such as Caslon's had to be adapted to specific typesetting technology. This was true again with phototypesetting, mostly in the 1960s and 1970s, and then again with digital typesetting technology, mostly since the mid 1980s. As a result of that, and the lack of trademark on the name "Caslon" by itself, there are many typefaces called "Caslon" with some other distinguishing element, which reproduce the original designs in varying degrees of faithfulness.