|pub||Tue, 2011-06-21||10:31||Apropos of nothing||+|
After the Tramway 100 I was away in Germany for the Wave Gothick Treffen so there was more beer than bidons going on. Though I was exceptionally jealous of all the cycling the locals seemed to do. Plenty of people of all ages, sizes and ability pootling around Leipzig getting on with everyday things. Most main roads seemed to have good quality large cycle paths, and if a cyclist wanted to use the road they seemed to be given plenty of room as well.
Since I’ve been back I’ve been trying hard to keep up with the commuting/training rides to and from work each day. Unfortunately as I only live 1.5 miles from the centre of Nottingham this involves a bit of cunning and heading out of the city and then back in to make it worthwhile. I’ve got routes of 15,10 and 8 miles now (with enough hills as well) that I can use on the way in depending on how quickly I get out of bed. Luckily work has showers so my colleagues don’t have to suffer too much. The plan is to try to keep a base of about 80 miles a week going.
Sort of thinking about trying for an RRTY as something to force me out on a longer ride at least once a month. Already had the first 3 months done:
But nothing planned in for June. So decided to work out a ‘simple’ 200km DIY to do. After my last fun and games with a DIY I thought I’d come up with something flattish (1400m climbing in 220km is certainly ‘Audax Flat’) that used roads I knew and with a couple of decent places to stop for a sit down and food. So the following was dreamed up:
Basic control points were Nottingham, Alfreton, Saundby, Market Rasen, Averham, Nottingham whic gave ~202km shortest distance between them (and the DIY organiser agreed), and then with some prettifying of the route this became ~220km. Most of the hilly bits were on the way to Alfreton. First real stop was at Saundby for a Rosie’s fried egg cob and a mug of tea. Next stop was sheltering from the rain on a garage forecourt in Lincoln enjoying a sandwich, ah the glamour. The Garmin reckons everything was good so I’ve sent the gpx off to the DIY coordinator and just waiting for a confirmation email back now.
|pub||Mon, 2011-04-18||11:41||Everybody rides to Skegness – 2 days later||+:1|
A late report, though not due to anything catastrophic, just wanting to enjoy a day out with my fiancee to make up for abandoning her for an entire day on saturday (Thank you Sharlotte :))
Possibly not the best start to the ride was going to the pub on Friday till about 11, then having to get up at 3 to let S into the flat as we had a key fob problem (which will reappear later on in this story) and then staggering bleary eyed out of bed at 04:30 to suffer a sink wash as our shower’s broken atm.
Drive over to Alfreton was reasonably quick and easy. Reassembling the bike took a couple of goes as I spent ages trying to sort out a rubbing front brake block, only to realise that in fact it was a rubbing front mudguard, easily fixed with some brute ignorance in the end.
Wandered over to sign in, was nice to be able to recognise some faces from Three Fields and Roses to Wrags, and was nice to be recognised by the organiser from a stop at Rosies as well. Made sure to fortify myself with some tea and biscuits. Then back outside to pointlessly adjust things and fidget until the off.
At 6 we set off, with everyone deviating from the route immediately to take the path down from Alreton house to the road. Rolled out through South Normanton in a large group and dropped down through Pinxton and then out through Kirby-in-Ashfield. Was great to do this in reverse having had it as the end of the previous 2 Alfreton routes I’d done, where it’s a not hugely welcome grind back up to Arrivee. Managed to end up my own from here to Newark, which wasn’t too bad as I could take my own time on the 12% climb at Oxton and saviour the swoop into Southwell. Got pinched back into a group by the level crossing on the way into Newark so got to Gannet’s in the middle of a huge queue so decided to just grab a stamp and head on to the next checkpoint.
Heading out across the rolling lincolnshire fens was really nice and peaceful at that time of morning. Didn’t really see anyone at all on this stretch apart from 2 fast riders who went past at a rate of knots and the gent who I caught as we came into Woohall Spa. Dorrits Cafe was a welcome break and I polished off a generous fried egg sandwhich and a can of coke. Slightly shocked to check the time on my brevet card and find I’d done 100k in 3:40, which is a little quick by my standards.
The weather had picked up so decided it was time to cast off the arm warmers and slather on the sun cream (factor 50!). Would have loved to have taken off the leg warmers off as well, but the dhb shorts I was wearing seem to finish too far up the thigh to be decent (post ride I’ve discovered that the insert is coming unstitched, so they’ll be back off to wiggle in short order, very lucky that didn’t cause any problems on the ride). The only navigational error of the ride was made on the next section as I found myself plonked on the the A155 at revesby. So had a slog up the main roads to rejoin the route at Spilsby. Luckily for me a strong rider on fixed had also been navigationally challenged so I got pulled along at a fair rate of knots. He also informed me that the real audax wierdoes appear at the 400km marker, so that’s something else to look forward to in may :).
Quick cake and water stop at Poppys Cafe, which is about as close as we got to Skegness proper. Nice pootle along the back lanes to Sutton-On-Sea with 2 gentlemen from Huddersfield. Stopped at SoS for an omlette and milkshake, and unfortunately didn’t fancy the wander across to see the sea, really should have. Also missed most of this route on the GPS as it had turned off at Poppys, and I’d assumed that turning it back on would restart the tracking, which it didn’t. It was routing fine so I’d thought it was fine. Oh well, another Garmin Edge oddity learnt about.
It was starting to get a bit windier and colder now, so back on with the arm warmers. The route started to get a bit lumpier around here. Stopped for a bit of a breather, and then had to work a bit harder to catch up with the small group heading into Horncastle. Free control at horncastle so I just went to the CoOp for some sugar,salt,water and a receipt, which apparently took 40 minutes. In hindsight I should have probably had a proper break and stopped at a cafe.
The next section to Lincoln started off with some nice climbs and then onto flat B roads. Hot foot set in, so I had a quick 5 minute stop in Bardney to sit on a bench and air out my feet which seems to relieve the pain quite nicely. Spent most of the next flat bit into Lincoln chasing a guy on a recumbent trike, but with a bit of headwind I think he had the advantage. Eventually caught him on the outskits of Lincoln as the guys from huddersfield caught back up as well. Nice route through Lincoln, though there was some confusion about where the cycle paths were. Another Open control so we went to the CoOp, the rest of the big bunch decided to go to the Sainsbury’s for the cafe instead.
From here back to Alfreton was all a bit A-Roady, but riding in company meant it went by at a reasonable pace. But just after tuxford on an uphill stretch the pace really got to me and I fell off the back of the little group. Deciding that there was a chance of things going pear shaped I stopped at the side of the road for about 10-15 minutes for a drink, sugary food and another foot rub. Also that length of time meant I knew there was no hope of catching back to the group, so wouldn’t bother trying, and resolved to just pootle back to the end at my own pace. The strategy. appeared to work as I started to feel more human passing through Edwinstowe and Sutton-In-Ashfield. Trying to find the bridge/tunnel over/under the M1 formed into a little group of 3 with the recumbent triker and another gentleman which stuck together all the way to the finish.
Finished in just a shade under 15 hours, so smack in the middle of the timings there. Which is what I’d set out to do. But I’d pushed to make sure of that time as I was worried about the afore-mentioned key fob which I’d had to take to get the car off the drive in the morning, but which S would need to use to get back into the flat after 10 after visiting friends, so I was worried about not being too late back to Nottingham because of that. As it was I was back with her and the friends for 10 lookingly longingly at a beer that I couldn’t have as someone still had to drive home :(.
Drank and ate more than on previous audaxes which did help. But I need to make sure I have a proper rest at controls rather than stand around drinking sugar. Kit wise everything worked fine. The only things I’d like to sort out for next time are some shorts that are a bit longer and a better way of holding the external battery for the Garmin Edge (this experiment was successful, but did involve some cable dangling). So that’s not a huge amount to work on before the Moors and Wolds 400 in 5 weeks time. Though I think I want to find some way of carry an extra top, and maybe a pair of bib tights for the overnight section. Thinking about an ortlieb roll tap bag and the attaching it to the top of the Caradice Barley or the bottom of it’s bagman support.
Finally seem to have cracked the routing with the Edge as well. The one problem I had was down to me not paying attention properly and blithely carrying on without noticing the problem. The ability to jump between the Garmin maps and Open Streetmap was great, don’t think it would have been as easy to get through Lincoln without that due to the cyclepaths. Slightly annoyed by not getting a trace from Poppys to SoS as that set of roads isn’t on OSM at all, so was hoping to edit that in this week, though I can at least have a go at sorting out the cycle path bit back in South Normanton.
|pub||Tue, 2011-03-22||12:35||Nottingham Stout and Porter stroll 2011||+|
So I managed to make it round a few pubs at various times to sample the black delights on offer this march.
There was a particularly boozy night in the Salutation after a ghost walk,where I made the most of Black Pearl and ‘A drop of the black stuff’.
A mighty fine pint of Harviestoun‘s “Engine Oil” at the Newshouse really hit the spot after Peroni at an Italian meal.
And then we decided to do a little crawl one Monday night, though this year making sure to stick to halves.
Started off at the Hand and Heart on Derby Road. Bar staff didn’t seem to really know what was actually on the S+P stroll, so I took the Burton Bridge Damson porter for a spin while waiting for company, and googling the other possibilities on my phone. Damson Porter’s always a nice pint, but is quite ‘regular’ around nottingham. So was quite happy to move onto Croots “Cow Juice” milk stout next. Very nice creamy half that one.
Looking at the list we realised we’d not been to the Ropewalk before so wandered up Derby Road to try it out. Wish we hadn’t. Asked the bar staff what was on the S+P trail and got handed a half of Doom Bar (amber ale), which hadn’t been particularly well looked after. That and the smell/state in the gents meant we didn’t hang around too long.
Quality was restored at the reliable Roundhouse (which we’d only discovered on last years S+P) with a great pint of Smoked Porter (forgot to note brewer, d’oh). Stopped for some food here as well
Suitably fortified we wandered down to the Canalhouse where we tried the College Green Brewery’s “Molly’s Chocolate Stout”. Good solid stout, though not as chocolately as some of the competition, though that could be a jaded pallet at work.
Quick wander down to the Newshouse, which unfortunately had moved on from the Engine Oil and onto Grantham Stout. A nice smooth stout, with all the right points, but a little ordinary.
Final stop of the evening was the Keans Head. Had noticed the week before that their bottled beer selection included Brewdog’s Paradox which I’d tried at the Nottingham Beer festival but had to discard as it was a little too hardcore for the middle of beer festival session, which we’d planned to split. Unfortunately they didn’t actually have any in :(. So I finished off with a pint of their usual Oyster Stout.
So the standout for this year was the Engine Oil with the Cow juice coming a good second. Unfortunately didn’t discover a new hidden gem of a pub this year, but nice to see that the good ones are still going strong.
Now to wait for the Milds to roll in in May.
|pub||Mon, 2011-03-14||13:58||M208 TMA01 back||+:1|
Got the full marked copy of M208 TMA01 back in the post over the weeked. Very happy with the mark. Just dropped a few little bits and pieces with silly mistakes. Forgetting to use a dotted line for parts of being one of the more silly.
And it looks like I did get the idea of equivalence set rights and under the equivalence relationshop:
Finally finished working through the Group Theory books. Takes a lot of time as there’s pleny of examples to crank through. Though building some dirty Excel hacks to generate a lot of the groups of forms and helped speed things up. There’s also a lot of proofs to work through and follow, but they have helped in working out how to write my own for the TMAs so not really wasted any time.
Going to start work on TMA02 this week, and hopefully get it finished so I can move onto the Linear Algebra section
|pub||Sun, 2011-03-13||22:10||Three Fields 100km audax||+:2|
Well that went pretty well.
Decided to cycle to and from the Alfreton start to extend the day a bit and give the car a rest, which gave me a nice hours ride of about 18 miles either end of the event. The ride home needed quite a bit of digging on some of the uphill sections, so don’t think I’ll try that next weekend with the Roses to Wrags 200
Got there in plenty of time as the ride over went a bit faster than expected, so made some inroads into the tea and biscuits. After a nasty right turn coming out of Alfreton the route settled onto some quieter rolling roads before joining a main A road. Here a reasonable sized group formed and the speed went up a fair bit. I’ve not ridden in a group for about 18+ years so it was a quick learning curve, don’t think I did anything too stupid. Fast pace was kept up all the way to the first control at Bothamsall, which had some wonderful cakes.
The next step was a bit more rural, with a big climb up to Laxton coming in a little too soon for my liking. Fell in with a small group and we rolled along nicely. Got to Gossips in Southwell where the food looked excellent, but the queue less so. So grabbed a can of coke and sweets and started off again. Long uphill drag all the way back to Alfreton, with the fun of filtering through Kirby-in-Ashfield as well. Rolled back to the start after about 5:15
No real problems. Bike didn’t seem to be having any problems, though there does appear to be a squeak depending on how I angle my feet when pedalling. Guessing I need to adjust/tighten some cleats. Nothing too major seemed to hurt at the time or keep hurting for long afterwards. Main bits of suffering seemed to be my feet (possibly another clue to check cleats) and my neck (not sure how to strengthen those muscles).
Hopefully it will all scale up for the 200 next week.
And now for some pointless stats:
|pub||Wed, 2011-03-09||12:44||Jorvik weekend – Birds of Prey||+:6|
Another year, another trip up to York for the annual Yorvik Viking weekend. No photogenic snow this year, and no buying of new cameras either. And as usual, I mostly got pictures of the birds of prey show. It was the same
No owls this year, and a lack of falcons as well. But a good display from a Bald Eagle, various vultures and some caracara for light entertainment
Pretty happy with these snaps. All taken on the 30D with a sigma 70-200 2.8 EX and then fettled in LightRoom. One regret was not taking a tripod along, but I didn’t fancy carrying it around York all day. Might have helped get some of the action shots a little sharper:
Though it’s not too bad as is :).
All the birds were supplied and flown by http://www.birdsofpreydisplays.co.uk/ who seem to do this event every year. So it’s always a decent show as he knows what he’s got to work with.
Photos of actual vikings (or of actual accountants impersonating vikings) to follow:
Working through a backlog of photos I found a couple more from the Great Central Railway at Loughborough. Just taken inside the restoration shed of bits and bobs lying around. Though obviously not of the same quality they do remind me of the Maurice Broomfield exhibition we visited in Derby last year. Need to get out and take some more of these sort of photos, but it’s all a bit hectic trying to fit it all in with cycling and OU coursework. Maybe need to work out a decent way of carrying the camera kit on a bit. Shame I don’t have rack mounts atm.
(Both photos taken with Canon EOS3, Sigma 24-70 2.8 on Ilford FP4+ @ISO125, developed in ID-11 and scanned on Epson V500).
|pub||Sun, 2011-02-27||18:58||Bloody weather and bikes||+:3|
One of those is meant more than metaphorically. Finished work at half 3 last thursday to be greated with one of the nicest sunniest evenings Nottingham’s seen since Decemeber. Happily I’d taken the bike into work so a quick change into the lycra and I was off up the hill out of Nottingham city centre. Turning right onto Forest Road I spotted a gap in traffic and push off. There’s a bang and I find myself hitting the handlebars, quickly recover the wobble and manage to freewheel over to the kerb on the other side. Looking down and back I can see that my chain’s no longer one continuous loop. Arggghhhh.
Luckily I wasn’t far from home, so managed to scoot it back. Could have been worse and happened at the far point of the course.
Apologies for the lame iPhone infrared filter, but it shows up the damage better (not quite keen enough to drag out the DSLR for this one.) It looks like the chains twisted and ripped a pin out through an external plate. That’s not the quick link (it’s a KMC chain btw) as that’s a couple of links futher along. I wasn’t in a cross qear so don’t think that was why it went. I had noticed earlier during the week when fettling mudguards that the pie/dork plate on the rear wheel was rubbing, so I’m hoping it’s something to do with that rather than lack of maintenance, though it might be nice to think that my leg muscles are manly enough to snap chains?
So that was Thursday’s fun out of the window. And due to heading up to york for the Jorvik weekend I didn’t get a chance to fix it on Friday. So a quick dash around York scored me a new chain courtesy of York’s Cycleworks. Got home today to refit it and head out for a ride when the heavens opened. So I took that as a sign and got on with finally getting the SKS mudguards fitted in a decent style having invested in a proper mudguard fitting tool, one of Aldi’s finest Dremmel copies. Only a couple of burnt fingertips and they now look rather spiffing.
All this does mean I’m a little down on the mileage I wanted to get in before the double header of the Three Fields and Roses to Wrags audaxes in a couple of weeks. Oh well, see how Three Fields goes and then make a decicion on Roses to wrags.
|pub||Tue, 2011-01-18||11:49||By eck, it were windy||+:4|
So another nice long trundle on the bike on sunday, Nottingham – Newark – Belvoir – Nottingham:
The huge side winds weren’t particularly fun either. Constantly steering/leaning into the wind gave me an insight into what riding a trike must be like. And the gusts that always turned up on a good downhill were worrying, I don’t particulalry like going sideways at >30mph :(
Worked out as about 62 miles total distance with about 4.5 hours in the saddle.
|pub||Mon, 2011-01-10||23:03||Nottingham to Cromford by bike (and back again)||+:3|
So decided to try and push the ride a little bit this week. Though I’d try north of the city for a change and head for the Peak District, or at least the edge of it.
So that turned out to be just shy of 80km of reasonably hilly riding along a nice mix of roads. The route out of Nottingham was pretty good without too much main road usage. The rest of the ride was either reasonably quiet B roads or unclassified lanes. Traffic was reasonably well behaved as well. The only idiot was the woman who shot past at a great rate of knots and then cut straight back in to park at church. Either desperate to pray for forgiveness for almost hitting a cyclist, or cyclists don’t feature too highly in their version?
The hills weren’t quite as bad as I was expecting. I had to stop a couple of times for a quick breather, but I didn’t walk any of them. I did have 2 dodgy moments though, 1 as I was crawling round a tight uphill corner when I caught my front mudguard with my foot and ripped it off the mountings, luckily cable ties to the rescue again. And then on the way home I wandered into the gully at the side of the road, lost traction and toppled slowly over, managing to unclip the wrong foot and hitting the tarmac.
Stopped for a cream tea at Cromford mills. Seemed to do the trick as the ride back took about 30 minutes less than the ride out. Sounds like an excuse for more cream teas.
All in all, pretty happy with that. Still impressed that I managed 900m of climbing and wasn’t completely dead
|pub||Tue, 2010-11-30||12:23||More snowy nottingham pictures||+:4|
More from my trek around Wollaton Park in the snow on Saturday morning. And looking out of the window at work, it looks like I might be getting some more snowy photos at this rate this week:
|pub||Sat, 2010-11-27||13:11||Here comes the snow||+:2|
Woke up this morning to find that my dreams of heading out on the bike had disappeared under the snow. Other people seemed to be OK on bikes, but I’m attached to my one piece collar bone so decided that discretion was the better part of valour so headed out with the camera to Wollaton park instead. Unfortunately only 1 deer fancied being photogenic, the others wanted to huddle en masse in the trees and didn’t look like they fancied meeting photographers.
Now to try and thaw out a bit before working on the others.
|pub||Mon, 2010-11-15||09:31||Mudguard Fail||+:4|
So with the winter weather coming in I thought I should get some mudguards on the bike. Got them from Evans when I got the bike.
I got the SKS full mudguards in black. They certainly look the part. Decent solid plastic and all the major fittings are metal, so looks like they’d survive a couple of winters and being stored in the cupboard over the summer.
Only one slight problem. Despite my frame’s MGC (MudGuard Clearance) stickers there no way that you can get these mudguards on with the stock 700×32 ‘knobbly’ cyclo cross tyres. I fettled and tweaked for a good few hours and there’s just no way of getting adequate clearance, the front wheel would spin free but tolerances were so tight that on a bumpy road (and Nottingham’s got lots) it’d soon disappear. Didn’t even bother attempting the rear.
All is not lost though. After riding for a bit on the stock tyres I’m starting to find them quite ’squirrely’ on the road. They don’t have a continuous central band so you’re constantly bouncing on small knobbly bits of rubber. They seem pretty good in the little mud I’ve tried but they don’t feel too secure on the road. So the upshot is that I’ll be looking for some nice 200×28 or 700×25 road tyres, and that should give me all the clearance I need to get the guards fitted.
|pub||Fri, 2010-10-08||18:44||Photos: Parralox performing at Infest 2010||+|
And moving onto Sunday we start off with one of Saturday’s bands. By all account Parralox had a hard time making it to the stage, but a hastily rearranged set saw them opening up on Sunday afternoon
My Infest 2010 photo archive – http://napalmgram.co.uk/wordpress/index.p
|pub||Sat, 2010-10-02||10:16||Photos: [X]-Rx performing at Infest 2010||+|
Moving on up through Saturday lineup we get to German “Industrial Terrorists” [X]-Rx. Nicely photogenic and a pretty good noise coming off stage, certainly got the crowd up and moving.
Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/xrxindustrial
My Infest 2010 photo archive – http://napalmgram.co.uk/wordpress/index.p
|pub||Fri, 2010-10-01||13:40||Photos: Agonoize performing at Infest 2010||+|
As we clambered into the Press pit we were warned “It might get messy”, oh and how right they were. We had fake sperm and fake blood aplenty with Agonoize. We got very good at spotting when the singer was ‘plumbed’ up for some blood action, and it went a fair way (you can see the pressure it was under in the photo up top)
My Infest 2010 photo archive – http://napalmgram.co.uk/wordpress/i
|pub||Tue, 2010-09-28||18:22||Photos: Memmaker performing at Infest 2010||+:1|
Next up on the Infest bill were Danish band Memmaker. Good electro sounds and good high key lighting as well :). Keep an eye out for a reappearance by one of the members during the Ayria set (photos to come).
Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/memmaker
My Infest 2010 photo archive – http://napalmgram.co.uk/wordpress/index.p
|pub||Mon, 2010-09-27||13:21||Photos: Northern Kind performing at Infest 2010||+|
And moving into day 2 of Infest the opening band were Northern Kind. A nice laid back start to the day, which had been a bit of a bizarre start thanks to all the police horses that’d been drafted in to keep the EDL ****s in order.
My Infest 2010 photo archive – http://napalmgram.co.uk/wordpress/index.p
|pub||Fri, 2010-09-24||07:39||Photos: De/Vision peforming at Infest 2010||+:3|
And moving onto the first headliner for 2010, De/Vision. Not a band I’d heard much by, but the crowd certainly seemed to be enjoying their synthpop stylings. Good upbeat way to finish off the first night.
Nice lighting on stage, but I wish I’d had something wider on the 30D as the band we pretty spaced out around the stage so was hard to get them all in from the stage edge.
In other news, I’ve just been asked to submit some of my photos from Infest for publication. So here’s hoping they like what I’ve sent them. No names yet, just in case they don’t ;).
Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/devisionmusic
Website – http://www.devision-music.com
Infest 2010 archive – http://napalmgram.co.uk/wordpress/index.p
|pub||Wed, 2010-09-15||19:24||Photos: Mandro1d performing at Infest 2010||+:1|
Right, back from the States, Nottingham half marathon completed, and I’ve stopped panicing about colours as my work monitor is just crap so it’s time to get on with some more Infest photos.
Starting off just like the festival with Mandro1d
So we kicked off with a band I’d never heard of, and of course I hadn’t read my programme by this point either. So it took me slightly longer than most to catch on to the humour in the songs (never claimed to be quick on the uptake). But soon saw the funny side of songs like “The summer of 6.9“, the one that rips off Headhunter and the free advertising for Jaeger and MusicNonStop meant there was plenty to laugh at
Mandro1d Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/mandro1d
|pub||Mon, 2010-08-30||21:42||Infest 2010 Photos – Day 3 preview||+|
Pitchfork really finished the festival off brilliantly, and Concrete Lung were really impressive. Unfortunately I spent so long faffing around trying to find people that I didn’t get a chance to pick up their CD.
|pub||Sun, 2010-08-29||14:16||Infest 2010 – day 2 preview||+|
About to head up for day 3, starting earlier as Parralox have been rescheduled for 3, so it’s going to have to be a fast walk up the hill
Day 1 photos from Infest 2010 here
|pub||Sat, 2010-08-28||13:42||First batch of Infest Photos||+:3|
Good way to put the morning’s alcohol connected recovery to use, I’ve done a first pass of last night’s Infest photos. It’s been all change this year with the venue, so the stage is in a different place and is a slight different shape this year, but I like it so far (at least for photos, as I’ve not really watched a band except through a viewfinder yet :))
Going to take me a while to get them all up (2 more nights , and I’m taking film shots as well) so thought I’d start with some work in progress ones.
Right, 2 hours till the next Infest band. But going via the Love Music Hate racism gathering that’s going on behind our hotel
|pub||Sat, 2010-08-28||09:12||Infest 2010 playlist||+|
So another Infest, another DJ slot in the 2nd bar. And this is what I played:
Inca babies – Evil Hour
|pub||Thu, 2010-08-26||08:29||Not what it looks like||+|
So which trusted construction material do you think this is?
Despite all appearances this isn’t wood. It is in fact concrete. To be exact it’s concrete somewhere on the Royal Festival hall. Looks like someone decided the concrete montser would look better if they tried to make it look like wood.
You can see some more of the texturing in this photo:
So, it looks like they decided to use it quite liberally over the whole building.
This weekend sees a jaunt up to Infest to take some band photos, it’s been a while so hopefully I can remember which end to point at the stage. Debating whether to take the film camera as well. And then there’s always the change of getting some reportage shots as there’ll be fuckwits protesting as well in the city centre.
(photos taken with Canon EOS3, Sigma 24-70 EX 2.8 on Ilford FP4+ @125 iso, developed in Ilford DD-X and scanned on an Epson v500)
|pub||Fri, 2010-08-20||11:16||Not going anywhere.||+|
Or at least I hope not, as it’s part of the support for the Millenium Bridge in London. This one came out pretty sharp considering it was hand held in a rather dark spot at an swkward angle to try and get the support beam in. Yet another photo from a day wandering around the southbank (previously)
Taken with Canon EOS3, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 on Ilford Fp4+ @125 ISO, developed in Ilford DD-x and scanned on an Epson v500
|pub||Thu, 2010-08-05||19:01||Nuts and Struts||+|
|pub||Fri, 2010-07-30||10:58||Grooving in Green at Dead & Buried, London, June 2010||+:3|
Oops, taken a while to get round to getting these up what with one thing or another. So here’s some photos taken at Dead & Buried back in June 2010 of Grooving in Green (ex Children on Stun)
|pub||Fri, 2010-07-16||11:15||What does it all mean||+:1|
Carved/branded telegraph pole in Nottingham’s Mapperly Park. Guessing BT is for British Telecom, but no idea for the rest. Doesn’t seem to be on every telegraph pole, so guessing it must mean it’s some sort of wiring hub?
Trying to play around with film a bit. So in this case the film (Ilford FP4+ 125) was actually pulled to 64 and then developed as normal (Ilford ID11 1:1 for 11 minutes). Quite liking the tones and detail that’s coming out of it.
Canon EOS 3, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Ilford FP4+ @64ISO, scanned on Epson V500
|pub||Sun, 2010-07-04||21:02||Shock, horror, a proper LJ post||+|
|Yep, a proper pucka not crossposted LJ post. |
Some of you may know that my Dad had been fighting bowel cancer for the last 9 months or so. Unfortunately he lost the fight about 2 weeks ago. I've decided to limber up for the Leicester half marathon in October running in aid of Bowel Cancer UK, so if you'd like to click the linky below and sponsor me a few sheckels (or any other currency justgiving accept), then please do.
|pub||Tue, 2010-06-29||18:59||Cracked and Peeling door @ The Great Central Railway in Loughborough||+|
Went for a wander round the yards at the Great Central at the weekend for a bit of a contemplative look around. In the harsh sunlight this cracked and peeling door on an old goods van was too good a chance to miss.
Minimal photoshopping, just a bit of contrast and level adjustment, plus a slight sharpen to compensate for the scanning.
Canon EOS 3, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8, Ilford fp4+ @ ISO 125, developed in ID-11 1+1, scanned on an epson v500.
|pub||Thu, 2010-06-24||10:05||Bridges and Ghosts||+|
So while waiting for the abortive attempt to visit Exposure at Tate Modern I spent the day wandering along the South bank of the Thames with cameras trying to look for something different.
The foot bridges looked interesting, but covered in people using them (this was about 3 in the afternoon). So, not wanting to wait for 13 hours for sunrise I decided to see how well multiple short exposures would work to ‘ghost’ out the walkers. From the above it seems to have worked well.
I really like the first one of the Millenium bridge. The lighting seems to have worked out nicely and I like the slightly washed out tones. And the backdrop of St Paul’s works nicely. Just a bit of a shame about the fact that the trees aren’t planted symmetrically. Everyone seems to have disappeared, apart from the gentleman in the wheelchair playing the steel drum.
Hungerford bridge turned out a bit differently, definitely a bit more claustrophobic and darker. Was actually crammed into a little nook on the bridge itself so the ‘ghosts’ are more visible. Don’t think this one is quite as sharp, but I think that’s down to a cheap tripod and a little bit of bridge vibration (I did think about doing something similar on the Millenium bridge, but standing on it and remembering it’s vibration problems I don’t think it would have worked).
Taken on a Canon EOS 3 with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens on Ilford FP4+ @ 125ISO, developed in ID-11 @ 1:1 and scanned on an Epson v500.
|pub||Mon, 2010-06-21||15:18||Not as controlled as they were hoping||+|
Don’t think this Zone’s as closely controlled as Nottingham City Council would like. Or maybe the graffiti only appears after 5pm Mon-Sat?
Canon EOS 300, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Ilford FP4+ @ ISO125, developed in DD-X 1+4, scanned on Epson V500
|pub||Wed, 2010-06-16||08:48||Wormrot at The Old Angel, Nottingham, May 2010||+|
Finally they’re up. Far too much stuff on at the moment, but here’s the photos from the Wormrot gig at The Old Angel all the way back in May. Top sweaty night of grindcore.
Tried something slightly different with the PP on these and it seems to have come out nicely, almost a selenium toning effect. Thinking that might have been helped that I shot them at ISO 800 and developed for IS1600 (Oops)
|pub||Fri, 2010-06-11||14:59||Luxury Strange @ The Old Angel, Nottingham, May 2010||+|
Another band I’ve not seen for a while running around with other things. But they’ve just got back from playing at Leipzig, so things seem to be looking up. Recommended for those who like their old skool Cure or Echo and his Bunnymen.
Colour ones taken on the 30D, black and white on the EOS 3
|pub||Thu, 2010-06-10||21:23||Screaming Banshee Aircrew at The Old Angel, Nottingham, May 2010||+:4|
Been a while since I’ve seen Screaming Banshee Aircrew play (last time may well have been supporting The March Violets a couple of years ago (Pictures). There appear to have been some lineup changes (I’m sure I remember more than 4 in the band?) and a change in sound. There definitely seems to be a bit more of an edge to their sound these days. But it still sounds good, or at least as good as it can through ear plugs 12″ from the PA (my fault not theirs).
Took the EOS 30D out for a play as well for a bit of a change, so there’s some colour this time.
Black and white pictures take on a Canon EOS 3 on Ilford HP5+ @ 1600, some with flash, some without.
|pub||Tue, 2010-06-08||11:12||Tessa Traeger Exhibition @ Purdy Hicks, London||+|
While wandering around London’s South Bank yesterday playing with cameras waiting for my other half to finish a course I stumbled across the Purdey Hicks photography gallery just round the corner from Tate Modern who were staging an exhibition by Tessa Traeger
I just spotted the photos through the window of the gallery and wandered in with no idea of what was going on, or even who was showing. So naturally I ended up viewing it backwards (and awkwardly as I was lugging a camera bag and tripod).
The exhibition is titled “Voices of the Vivarais” and focuses on the Vivarais mountain people of France who I’d never heard of. The photos certainly show a people who live hard on the land, tending vegetables and animals with care and pride. You can really feel the pride of the people showing their best produce, or the care that’s been taken of the animals. You got a feeling of a people happy with their lot, despite not being a lot by other standards.
There were a lot of pictures of people holding things. I’ve always liked photos of hands holding something, with all the lines and wrinkles they look wonderful in high quality black and white. And looking at these large prints I also realised that it means the photograph always has a full back ground with the subjects chest/stomach.
As always the quality of images shot on large format was stunning. I really hope I can eventually get something even approaching this sort of quality. Though there’s a long way to go as I’ve barely got the basics of 35mm into my head yet.
Very glad I came across this. Hopefully signing up to the mailing list will mean I’ll find out about other exhibits in plenty of time.
Shame I didn’t make it to the Tate’s Exposed exhibition as well, but a combination of misreading opening times and an overrunning conference meant we missed last admissions. Think we’ll try and make it in when we’re down next month for Specimen and Skinny Puppy.
|pub||Sat, 2010-05-29||18:50||Knifecutter @ The Heavy Sounds, 8th May 2010||+|
Ok, getting very tardy with band photos now. These ones date from the 8th May, but I blame having too much fun at other gigs in the mean time :).
This was a bit of a strange one. Just a couple of songs performed just outside The Heavy Sounds shop in the middle of the West End Arcade in Nottingham. Don’t really know much about the band, except they’re a 2 piece consisting of guitar and drums, and that this event was to celebrate the launch of their debut 10″. Pretty good sounds, but I haven’t managed to get back down and pick up a copy, oops.
After this the bands just kept on coming as I traipsed up to The Old Angel for Wormrot, Unkind and a couple of others. Photos from that gig should be up pretty soon. Though I’m about to head out to Luxury Stranger and Screaming Banshee Aircrew, so I’m going to have even more to develop and process.
Canon EOS 3, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 EX DG, Ilford HP5+ @ ISO 400, developed in DD-X, scanned on an Epson V500
|pub||Thu, 2010-05-27||13:35||MS221 – Book B3 – Iteration with Matrices||+:1|
Took this along as a little light reading on a trip to Leipzig for the Wave Gotick Treffen. Pretty interesting concepts coming through. Quite happy now I know what an Eigenvector, an Eigenline and an Eigenvalue are, always heard the terms but never actually knew what they meant. Some of the geometric visualisations made my head hurt a bit as well, but I think I’m starting to recognise them.
Towards the end some of the activities/exercises seemed to turn into repetitive cranking out of numbers, but I guess that’s just the way these things go.
Going to make a start on TMA02 now, and possibly a bit of a break from MS221 to crack through the new MST121 material that turned up last week.
|pub||Tue, 2010-05-11||10:10||Merciless Terror @ The Old Angel, Nottingham, April 2010||+:1|
Another evening back at Nottingham’s Old Angel, with the camera in tow. This time to catch Merciless Terror tearing up the stage. In fact, fast enough that I could barely focus, so not too many keepers out of the lot.
Hopefully there are some more Angel shot’s to come from Wormrot’s nottingham gig, but I’ve realised I’d shot them at ISO 800 and developed at ISO 1600, so we’ll have to see how they come out.
|pub||Mon, 2010-05-10||10:06||Nottingham Decay||+:3|
Some bits of Nottingham don’t seem to be fairing as well as others. In facts bits of the Lace market seem to be crumbling pretty rapidly. Bit of a shame really, some of the old buildings are lovely sandstone monstrosities. but it seems that the clubs (or their landlords) aren’t too bothered about keeping the exteriors in a decent condition. Quite like the batlike shape on this one, and the fact that is eating through the ‘pillars’ is nice too. Shame about the no parralel lines but i can’t quite afford a TS lens or a view camera just yet.
Canon EOS 3, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Ilford HP5+ @ ISO400, developed in DD-X, scanned on an Epson v500
|pub||Mon, 2010-05-03||11:32||Until the light takes us, part II||+:4|
Got to see ‘Until the Light Takes Us” on Friday, and didn’t end up with either of the options I’d thought would happen. No sign of it coming to the Broadway yet, but I was informed of a couple of showing over at Quad in Derby. Having nothing better to do on a Friday evening for once we decided to books some tickets and head over.
Quad’s a nice little ‘art’ cinema over in Derby, I really liked it. The audience for the film were rather easy to pick out amongst the rest of the clientele. Only showing in the smaller screen, but we didn’t take up much room. The documentary itself was a mixed bag. If you don’t know the early black metal history of Mayhem then you’re going to be pretty lost, as the directors/producers pretty much assume you know it all and just want the details. The main focus is Fenriz of DarkThrone, who comes across in his usual music loving slightly doped style, coming out of it all pretty well. The other main antagonist is Varg (pre release from jail), who retells the Euronymous story again (differently, again), and proves that he was a strange individual well before meeing the Mayhem crew. Hellhammer comes off as a racist homophobe (quel surprise). And for some reason the do a ‘Jerry Adams’ on Faust blocking out his face and disguising his voice despite crediting him on screen, though this is apparently at his own request. It does quite happily show just how fucked up some of the originators were, and that they’re still out of the Norm. Frost turns up halfway through, but didn’t really seem to want to be there and I can’t remember any major points he made, did feel like he’d been dragged in as one of the ‘extreme’ current bands.
Overall not too bad a film, though some of the editing could have been tighter, and I get the feeling they were going for more of an arty production than their main audience would really want (the interpretive tap dance segment seemed to just provoke laughter). I’ll probably rewatch it if it comes out on DVD at a reasonable price.
|pub||Mon, 2010-04-26||08:45||first rule of gig photography……||+:1|
…..remember the fucking earplugs.
Just a tad loud last night at the Old Angel, and I can still barely hear. Going to have to make sure I stash plenty of earplugs in each of my camera bags.
Another tip I forgot was to mark which speed I shot each film at. I mean, how do you tell the difference between a full casette of HP5+ @ 800 from one @1600? Thankfully I managed to remember that the ISO 1600 roll had been followed by a roll of DX3200, so if I’m right the 1600 ISO HP5 roll is in the Delta cannister. Hopefully…….
Good gig though. Absolutely knackered as I’d walked up to the Angel after getting the train back from Nottingham to Luton (which was redirected via Toton yard, cool if you like looking at old railway hardware). Necrocest had cancelled so Merciless Terror got to headline, pretty energetic so just hoping the autofocus kept up this time. Did end up cheating and getting the flash out, be interesting to see how that works with film.
|pub||Thu, 2010-04-22||15:48||The Munsters move to Nottingham||+:1|
The Munsters appear to have decided to move to Nottingham. Taken through a gap in the fence surrounding the reservoir by Mapperly road.
Canon EOS 300, Ilford HP5+ @400ISO, developed in Ilford DD-X and scanned with an Epson v500.
|pub||Tue, 2010-04-20||14:48||Star City @ Nottingham Contemporary, April 2010||+|
In need of another culture fix we wandered over to the Nottingham Contemporary to catch the Star City exhibit before it closed. Billed as an exhibition about the “The Future Under Communism” and the “Race for Space” I had visions of lots of space geekery. Turns out I was wrong, but not in a bad way.
We started out in “The Space” with Mother, Earth, Sister, Moon by Tomaszewski and Malinowska. “The Space” appears to be a large almost performance space in the bowels of the contemporary, certainly tending towards the utilitarian, though I don’t necessarily mind ‘naked’ building spaces, and in this case the cold bare concrete walls worked well. The installation was a tribute to the first woman in space, though as it consists of a large fabric construction of a cosmonaut, this isn’t immediately apparent until you read the display notes. All very nice, but it did feel like it was missing something. Throughout the exhibition there have been fashion shows staged within the ‘Cosmonaut’, and for something like that it’d work well.
Moving back upstairs it was nice to see that someone’s got better with both the paintbrush and the floor brush :). On the upper floor there were a mix of arists works on display. Can’t say I was hugely bothered by most of the Video installs but that’s just my taste. I did like Tobias Putrih’s Solaris, a small cinema constructed from cardboard tubes and plywood offcuts which was right up my particular alley. Also taken by Micol Assaël’s, Elsewhere, which appeared to be an installed minimalist glitch sound system constructed from rusting electronics sat in a pool of water, I could have sat there listening for a good long time.
So a bit hit and miss, but it was a nice way to spend an hour.
Treated myself to an ‘Origami Space ships’ kit in the shop on the way out.
|pub||Sat, 2010-04-17||20:25||International Record Store Day, Nottingham, April 2010||+:5|
So today was the second celebration of Record Store Day in the UK (or at least the second as far as I know). Celebrating this in Nottingham were the good folks at The Heavy Sounds, who’d got the East Midlands allocation of the limited edition singles. So in the hope of getting hold of the Bruce Springsteen 10″ I decided to start queueing at 09:30, only to find I was 30 back in the queue (number 1 had arrived about 6ish, and number 9 had turned up at 8, I’m not quite that keen).
Don’t know if the other traders in the West End Arcade knew what was happening as the queue kept building up and up (I reckong there must have been at least a 100 people or more in the queue). 10 o’clock turned up and we all started filing in in an orderly fashion (don’t think we were going to be allowed to do anything else). Took a fair while for everyone to filter in (think I got in about 11:10), but this left plenty of time to chat in the queue. Seemed to be lots of genuine music fans taking the time out to make sure they grab something so there was plenty of far ranging conversation.
Got the Bruce EP, the Nick Cave 12″ and the JAMC 7″. Plus I couldn’t resist the Surfer Blood 7″ after seeing it had an Allen Blickle (Baroness) remix on the b-side, and also this wonderful cover:
The saddest part of the day was standing in the queue and a group of us all discussing all the independent music shops that have shut down in Nottingham over the years. But the good bit was supporting the one that’s still there (none of us could think of any others in Nottingham open atm).
Hopefully we’ll be back next year. And hopefully the Creperie will have worked out that they could make a fortune delivering cups of tea and coffee to the queuers :).
|pub||Thu, 2010-04-15||18:06||Twilight’s Embrace playing at The Old Angel, Nottingham, April 2010||+:1|
So, the first trip out to see a band with the film camera in tow.
First up were Twilight’s Embrace. A local Nottingham band tagging themslves in the Dark Melodic Metal camp who’ve been around a while, but this was their first ever live performance. Judging from the performance and feedback from the decent sized crowd I think we’ll be seeing them again soon.
Not many pictures as the 300 appears to not like focusing in the gloom, grrrr.
Headliners for the night were Sorrow’s fall, hopefully there’ll be some pics of them up shortly.
All pictures taken on a Canon EOS 300, with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens on Ilford HP5+ pushed to 1600 ISO, developed in DD-X and scanned on an epson V500
|pub||Thu, 2010-04-15||13:20||Tigers and daffodils at Kedleston Hall||+:3|
An old tiger skin rug in the main entrance hall to the National Trust’s Kedleston hall. And as a nice easter treat someone’s given it a little chick to eat (not me!, though I am impressed by the NT’s staffs thinking :))
And nothing says spring like Daffodils
All images take with a Canon EOS 30D and a Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 DX. Minimal tarting done during RAW conversion.
|pub||Wed, 2010-04-14||12:31||Cameras, cameras, gotta catch them all||+:11|
So buying a film camera was the start of a slippery slope. I’m really enjoying the relative simplicity of it, and the hands on developing technique and the lack of pressure to photoshop it 7 ways to sunday to get it to look right.
But, I’m starting to crave more cameras. After some frustration while trying to take photos of Twilight’s Embrace and Sorrow’s Fall at the old Angel last Friday I’m really craving a film body with a much better AF system. And having seen some of the interesting metering decision the 300 makes I think I’d like a better set of metering options. So I think I’m going to be on the lookout for a 30 or a 3 in the very near future.
And for something slightly more obscure I really have a hankering for a 120 film based pinhole of some sorts. I just see things that would good in a nice wide format and the slightly more contemplative mood appeals as well. So need to start thinking about whether I want something fancy, a holga or go the whole hog and build one from some nice offcuts of wood.
Though I’ve got to admit it was fun at the weekend to breakout the 30D at Kedleston hall. Though that might just have been using a better camera, which only makes me want a 3/30 that little bit more :).
|pub||Mon, 2010-04-12||09:16||Somewhere to sit?||+|
Canon EOS 300, Canon EF 50mm 1.4, HP5+ @ISO400, home developed with Ilford DD-X, scanned with an Epson V500
Minor amounts of work after scanning, but nothing that couldn’t really be done in a darkroom. Contrast increase, slight dodge and burn