I like is Blog of the week in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, so to all Antipodean visitors - Hi, how ya going? This is I like's first mention in the press and it's very exciting, particularly being talked about on the other side of the globe. It's wonderful to be described as 'meticulously crafted' because sometimes it's a real scramble to get anything up, and I worry that it must seem quite thrown together. Similarly, I can be a miserable bastard sometimes but try to keep it away from here, so coming over as 'affirmative' is a triumph and a relief.
On a bloggy note, someone asked if I like has an RSS feed, or an aRSSe feed as it's called at Call Centre Confidential. It doesn't, because I don't use blogging software, because I don't think I knew what a blog was when this started and since I started I've never had the time to try and set it up. Some of the stuff does look quite handy though, so if there are any fellow bloggers reading this can you give me an idea how easy it is to set up, what's a good thing to use and is it all worth it? Ta. I'm not sold on aRRSe feeds myself as I like to come into a site and look around. The way a website looks adds a bit of atmosphere, so reading through a feed loses something in the translation for me. I also have some kind of corner-shop mentality that I can't quite explain, and the idea of an information hyperglobalmeganet frightens me. But maybe that's just me, and if people want to read I like anyway anyhow I'm happy with that. It would certainly be good to get comments as sometimes I wonder if this stuff makes any sense at all.
Does anyone want two tickets to see Sparks at the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday 12 June? I bought them, and now can't go, and am gutted. £22.50 each for a chance to hear Amateur Hour live. Please get in touch if you want them as the RFH won't take them back. Grrr.
Of all the west coast seaside towns I like Troon the best. There's a beautiful sandy beach which is nice and sheltered (the wind at Largs would slice you in two), a great ice cream van on the seafront, and old cafes galore. There's one less now that the Venice Cafe is being 'refurbished'. The formica and the wood panelling and the gentle angles have all gone. The Pavilion Cafe with its Fish & chips carrying out sign and its funereal window display is still going strong though, as is Togs. I like to think that if these places have lasted this long, they'll last forever, but Adrian Maddox at Classic Cafes has been wondering (via William Burroughs and his 'playback' experiments) if it's all the recorders and amateur archivists (like me and him and Russell Davies) putting bad juju on these places. I've yet to hear William Burroughs say anything sensible, so will just keep on going for now.
If I'd know in my 20s that by 33 I'd be living the semi-detached suburban lifestyle (and being *gulp* a parent) I would have been horrified, but now that I'm here I like it a lot. Suburbia gets a bad name, but this isn't a scary hermetically-sealed place, just a nice old area with lots of retired people and young families. Yesterday I got up early, hung out the washing (after living in flats for years this is a real novelty), went to a cake/book/plant sale in the local Scout Hall (which turned up a huge pile of Ladybird books and an old Penguin copy of Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage, the most sensible thing I've read for a while). Then to the paper shop to get some penny sweets, a Saturday ritual. Tommy has charmed the owner so he got a free water pistol ('my eye gun'). Came home, planted some pansy and cornflower seeds, made soup, read the paper, watched the Cup Final, had a chat with the neighbours, then went for another walk. It was a perfect day really.
If it's not too late, set the video for I know where I'm going on BBC2 at 2pm tomorrow (Friday). One of Powell & Pressburger's finest moments, and god knows they had a few. Beautifully shot in and around Mull where I'll be going this summer in a similarly headstong manner I hope. Raymond Chandler describes it perfectly - 'I've never seen a picture which smelled of the wind and rain in quite this way, nor one which so beautifully exploited the kind of scenery people actually live with, rather than the kind which is commercialized as a show place'. Lovely stuff.
You should get out more. Some exhibitions:
I was 33 and 1/3 yesterday. Yay! Go me. Some record related links:
M. (for Miroslav) Sasek's This is London and This is Paris are reissued today. Hooray! Both were originally published in 1959 with Paris the first in the This is series of books for young travellers, born when Sasek observed that tourist parents tended to focus on the sights rather than on their kids. Even though both books are over 40 years old, they look fresh as a daisy. It's amazing how much has stayed the same, and how nice it is to see the things that haven't. The illustration of a London street with 6 shops, 3 of them J. Lyons & Co. (and one I've just noticed, 'J. Death: Family Butcher') suggests that Lyons must have been the Starbucks of their day - not that Starbucks could ever match the cult of the Nippy or the grandeur of the Lyons Corner House.
An architectural trail:
Other people's links:
Back from another trip south to The North. My other half is a rep for a photo company. He drives round Scotland, no street too dead end, no town too one-horse, checking that people are getting their snaps back okay. He's recently had the north of England added onto his patch hence the recent trip to Morecambe and this week a wee saunter through Newcastle and Gateshead. Being there on business meant we actually needed to park in Owen Luder's "Get Carter" Car Park. Its uncertain future made me spend some time wandering around this brutalist landmark, such a part of the local skyline, thinking "You're a big man, but you're out of shape", all cracked and dank with the abandoned restaurant balancing on the top. I can report however that it provides a most excellent parking experience. More shots of it then and now on the Get Carter Location list.
I've been to see this today so things are a bit rushed. Here are the new likes for May.
A German World Cup poster site (via Coudal) kicked off a browse through sporting posters and mascots. Even better, the FIFA site shows all the posters in one go. I like Brazil 1950's global sock motif and the Scandinavian simplicity of Sweden 1958. I like's resident football expert maintains that Argentina '78 had the best logo (Argentinian stripes following the curves of the World Cup trophy), but frankly that poster is a bit questionable.
This got me looking for Olympics bits and pieces. There's the op art extravaganza of Mexico '68's poster and Munich '72's emblem, modish Melbourne '56 and the pared down rings of Montreal '76. The Olympics site is good for trivia because I really did want to know that the 1972 games were the first to have a named mascot, Waldi the dachshund. Although it wasn't until 1980 and the arrival of Misha (full name Mikhail Potapych Toptygin) that they started getting interesting. See also a large and delightful collection of Misha memorabilia.
I like recommends:
This is Paris by M. Sasek. First in the classic series of children's travel books and still relevant today.
Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland. Modern and classic at the same time.