You Are Here by Herb Lester Associates

Ben from Herb Lester Associates sent me You Are Here: The Best Places to Meet and Work in London (thank you Ben). It's a small fold-out guide showing the best places for freelancers or anyone without access to a regular office to get together in central London. There's a map on one side and some funny, accurate reviews on the other. Very useful and beautifully put together. The vintage-style illustrations by Michael Newhouse make it even more special.

You Are Here: Freelancer's Map of London

If you would like one it's a steal at £3 from Herb Lester Associates. More info about them on their website or in this write-up on We Made This.

Toby Paterson exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery

I was in Edinburgh yesterday for various things including the last few days of the Toby Paterson exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery. It's consciously 'exhibitiony' (as the artist himself puts it) with his trademark architectural paintings displayed on perspex (mostly) around the gallery space. There are lots of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia churches, Victor Pasmore's Apollo Pavilion, a short film of Polphail and two whole walls of research photographs, mostly showing crumbling pieces of European modernism. Excellent work. It finishes on 28 March. After that you'll be able to see Toby's work on the Stratford International Extension of the Docklands Light Railway.

Picture: Fruitmarket Gallery.

I was really sad to wake up and find out that Alex Chilton has died. Big Star were a massive band during my formative years - so many great bands from Glasgow (and beyond) cited them as an influence. The song Thank You Friends (above) is such a happy sad one. RIP Alex.

Title from Alex Chilton by the Replacements which I've had in my head all day.

Lewis's Canteen by Stephen King

The Lewis's Fifth Floor project is an amazing time capsule of mid-century department stores. The fifth floor of Lewis's in Liverpool was ultra-glam in its heyday. It closed in 1980 and has been untouched ever since, like the Miss Haversham of retail. Photographer Stephen King has documented what's left. Portraits of staff who worked there, back on the floor, add an extra dimension and testimonies from the people who shopped there chime in like the tinkling of teacups to create a very vivid picture of life on the floor. I can smell the hair lacquer from here.

The photos are in an exhibition at The National Conservation Centre in Liverpool until 30 August 2010 and in the book Lewis's Fifth Floor: A Department Story. Thanks to Johnny and Kate for the tip-off.

In and out

I’m writing this in my second week as a fully self-employed person. How exciting.

I said goodbye to Learning and Teaching Scotland (who gave me a lovely send-off) at the end of February and am now a freelance website manager.

I’m staying on at Folksy and was down in Sheffield last week for a couple of days talking and planning. Lots of interesting work ahead. I’ve got some other work lined up, all very exciting and to be explained later. This is all quite flexible so I’m also looking for other opportunities and generally trying to find my feet in the world of self-employment. So if anyone needs anything done, or just wants to have a chat please get in touch. This is all new to me so I'd be really glad to hook up with other freelancers, even if it’s just to share experiences about how you manage your time etc.

I haven’t really felt like blogging much lately as I was juggling so many different things but life is starting to feel normal again for the first time in months.

Avanti!

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