Museum of Everything, Primrose Hill

I was in London last week for a Newspaper Club factory visit and managed to sneak in a visit to the Museum of Everything in Primrose Hill.

The exhibition on now, curated by the artist Peter Blake, gathers some of his amazing collections in one place. Featuring bizarre taxidermy (boxing squirrels!) from Walter Potter, fairground art from Carter's Steam Fair, circus posters, and a miniature shell grotto. Right up my street. No photos allowed, which is rubbish, so you'll just have to see it for yourself if you haven't already.

The exhibition has been extended until the end of January, so get in quick. More info on the Museum of Everything website (warning: music).

Armstrongs Vintage Clothing, Edinburgh

Armstrong's Vintage Clothing has been trading since 1840 in Edinburgh's Grassmarket. I could spend hours in there, looking at the amazing retro clothes.

Armstrongs Vintage Clothing, Edinburgh

There are classic pieces of clothing (cashmere knits, Tweed jackets) and wiggier items like op-art dresses and kipper ties.

Armstrongs Vintage Clothing, Edinburgh

It's just amazing to look through, like a museum of fashion crammed into one small higgledy-piggledy shop.

I was very sad to hear the news that Trish Keenan from Broadcast died this morning. I first saw them supporting Stereloab in the mid-90s and it was immediately clear that they were in a different class to most other bands around. They were one of a kind and wrote songs that linger in the best ways.

This song, Message From Home was the first one I thought of when I heard the news. Probably because the line "Now the leaves are off the trees / The view is clear, this time of year" comes to mind so often on cold, clear winter days.

Current listening: Jonny - the joyful collaboration between Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub and Euros Child ex of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.

The single, Candyfloss, is out on 17 January with an album following on 31 January. There's also a free EP available at Turnstile.

Lovely jaunty pop to start the year.

New motorhome

Wow, the holidays have flown in and it's a new year already.

If it's anything like 2010, 2011 should be amazing. Last year, I left a full-time job at Learning and Teaching Scotland to join Folksy and Newspaper Club, bought a motorhome, went to lots of lovely new places like Orkney and West Wales and saw my youngest son start school. It was a big year.

I was rubbish at blogging though. Despite having more time it still felt pretty busy. It's taken the best part of 9 months to get into a rhythm of working at home and the new year comes just as it all falls into place. It feels good to be marking the transition from one year to the next and starting afresh.

After leaving Folksy in November I'm looking forward to concentrating on Newspaper Club and finishing off the Nothing To See Here book which is due out in May. I'd also like to see a kingfisher and a woodpecker this year (not necessarily at the same time) and maybe go to New York.

The photo above shows the ceramic motorhome by Paige Russell (via Hannah Zakari) which my lovely Newspaper Club colleagues got me for Christmas. It sits on my shelf as a reminder of all the adventures yet to come.

Happy New Year.

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