After rounding up 2006 in photos here's 2007. This time of year always makes me a bit mopey, getting bogged down in whatever hasn't gone well, but looking through the pictures makes me realise what a good year it's been.

Glasgow Transport Museum

January was pretty quiet. We spent a lot of the year in museums - somewhere warm, entertaining and free to keep the whole family amused. Glasgow's Transport Museum is always a pleasure. I hope the new Zaha Hadid-designed Riverside Museum has the atmosphere of this place.

The Reclining Buddha, Bangkok

February - Bangkok for work, which was magnificent. Everything about it was really exciting.

St. Joseph, Carfin Grotto

March - Random visits to Carfin Grotto (a sort of mini Scottish Lourdes), Stirling for a Lindsay Anderson exhibition, Galloway for a family visit and London for work.

Lions

April - first holiday of the year to the Lake District. Staying away from the touristy bits and wandering round the edges, going to Ulverston, Barrow-in-Furness and up the coast to Whitehaven and beyond. I also went to South Africa for work which almost killed my love of international travel.

Ukrainian Chapel, Hallmuir

May - The Ukrainian Chapel at Hallmuir near Lockerbie. Lovely.

The Big Clock, Cumbernauld

June - A wee trip to Cumbernauld. Good to see the big clock from Gregory's Girl is still in action. Then a big trip to London to speak at Interesting2007 which was scary but fun.

Douglas

July - A trip on the Leadhills & Wanlockhead District Railway, and a vist to the National Railway Exhibition in Bo'ness. Then our big holiday in Norfolk via Harrogate. Leeds, Nottingham and Manchester. We got there in between two bouts of serious flooding but managed lots of sun, sea and sand in between downpours.

Easterton Service Station, Denny

August - Some great trips to Perthshire and Stirling. This lovely little art deco garage near Denny was a great find.

Aberdeen sand

September - Time for one last fling to Aberdeen as I finished work at DFID. During the year I took pictures of all the beaches we went to. Aberdeen definitely has the best sand. So soft it's like velvet.

October - No photos, which is weird. I started work at Learning and Teaching Scotland so was probably too preoccupied getting into a new routine.

Gym

November - Stayed in Glasgow. Went to the Radiance Festival. Found this great sign up a back street. So simple but so effective.

Duncanrig High School, East Kilbride

December - Went to Edinburgh to see the Sir Basil Spence exhibition which was magnificent. Then followed that up with a trip to East Kilbride to see Duncanrig High School which he designed as the first school there in 1958. It's going to be demolished in the new year so catch it while you can.

So all in all it's been another interesting year, full of surprises in one way and another. Thanks to everyone for reading, writing, and commenting. I hope 2008 is just as inspirational.

i-like-beta.jpg

I've been working on a new design for a while now, and am at the stage where I need a second opinion. So, in the manner of the BBC here's the new I like beta home page. It's been redesigned for a few reasons:

  • I wanted somewhere to put the del.icio.us links that wasn't in the main part of the page.
  • A third column would come in handy.
  • I've lost the copy of the old font I used for the headings so have gone for my new favourite, Clarendon.
  • It was generally looking a bit tired after all these years.

Although I work with websites all day I don't usually design them. Poking about with CSS is fun for a while but ultimately not my forte. So I'd be really glad of comments, particularly from those of you with non-1024 screen resolutions*. It only goes as far as the home page at the moment but I'll do the rest once it's been road-tested for a wee while. All comments gratefully received - if you can't be kind be constructive.

*Technical details: It's a fluid 3-column layout. Not sure if this is the right way to go. Let the audience decide.

Merry Christmas

Happy Festivus and a Merry Christmas to you, one and all. I hope Santa's good to you.

great-scot.jpg

It's getting to the end of the year and I'm concerned that there hasn't been enough classic packaging around. So here's one of my faves. "Great Scot" flour in two lovely varieties. I like everything about it - very simple with such lovely touches in the big chunky typography and that weird quasi-tartan bit. Arbitrary Scottishness, which I'm always fond of. Just generally lovely. Hopefully this will be the first of many in 2008.

Willie Rodger print

I was at a Willie Rodger exhibition during the week. I'd never heard of him until I saw the posters for this retrospective on a work visit to Stirling University. He's a Scottish artist and printmaker, now in his 80s and enjoying retiremement in Kirkintilloch. He specialises in these wonderful linocuts - lovely little observational studies. There's an excellent one of someone with a hangover.

Willie Rodger print

More pictures from the exhibition, and on Willie Rodger's website.

I like postcards: set 2

The last posting day for Christmas is Thursday 20 December so if you want any new I like postcards get them now. They'll also be available from Hitherto, after I drop off a stash tomorrow lunchtime - they're open 'til 10 tomorrow for top class Christmas shopping. Thanks David for the customary photo.

Tuesday nights won't be the same without Flight of the Conchords. I thought it might be a bit heavy on the whimsy at first, but it came up lovely. With The Mighty Boosh on on Thursdays, all it needed was The Likely Lads on a Wednesday for a perfect midweek run of great comedy duos. Here are most of the songs (if not all), roughly in order. It's hard to pick a favourite although Foux de fa fa is up there.

There's a full run down on the Flight of the Conchords (TV) Wikipedia page. Haste ye back, as we say in Scotland.

I've been a bit distracted for the past few days so here's a musical interlude. Stereolab's Wow and Flutter on YouTube. God, I love this song. They were always so cool, it's good to see them pratting about in capes. Nice line in Open University-style infographics too.

Teacup ride, Cromer Knickerbocker glory, Millport

The second set of I like postcards are ready. There's cafe action and seaside fun ahoy. It's like a little holiday in your hand. A thousand thanks to davidthedesigner for working his magic once again.

Order now for Christmas.

Saul Bass - Henri's Walk To Paris

It sometimes feels like the web is saturated with design blogs, all swilling the same links about. Then along comes Grain Edit which is clearly a cut above the rest. Specialising in vintage children's and rare graphic design books it's choc full of beautiful rarities like Saul Bass's only kids' book Henri's Walk to Paris (above, also on Flickr). Even the archives are beautifully laid out. Add a little style to your day (thanks Will).

Flensted Santa Flensted Puffing Troll

Flensted have been making supercool mobiles since 1954. They've got various ranges: kids, Bauhaus and Calder-inspired abstract ones, even some styllsh Christmas decorations (including Santa, above). My favourites are the Danish ones, with vikings, viking ships and the delightfully mournful Puffing Troll (above right) who will take all your troubles away. They're lightweight and pack flat so make great gifts for kids overseas. Buy from Danish Design and shops worldwide.

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