Thanks to everyone who has visited I like in 2004. Special thanks to those who have linked and very, very special thanks to everyone who has got in touch with kind words and suggestions. 'Preciate it. All the best for 2005.
Nice Christmas everyone? My best present was London in a bag (thanks Cas). Boxing Day was perfect - really cold, but not a cloud in the sky. There was nothing on the telly so we went to South Queensferry to show Tommy the Forth Rail Bridge (the train journey over this, and over the Tay Bridge to Dundee is completely stunning). He seemed a bit nonplussed, probably a bit young to appreciate the miracles of modern engineering. Then we carried on to Kinross to the Todd & Duncan cashmere factory. They have this great fat face lettering and a really cute goat on the sign. From the factory you can see Loch Leven Castle where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. I like the way you can't move in Scotland without tripping over something historical. Neil knows all this stuff, but I never have a clue. My dad was a history teacher and I must have overdosed on castles and cathedrals as a child. There's only room in my head now for tat and old metal goats.
I'm on holiday now, yippee, although I'm hoping to catch up with I like over the next couple of weeks. Still, off tomorrow, so Merry Christmas everyone!
KRAMER: Is there a tree?
Went to see Morrissey at the SECC, a rotten shed of a place. He was epic, still takes his shirt off. PJ Harvey was supporting but she was so far away it was like watching her Minipop and listening to a crappy car stereo. Hey ho.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gardener's Shop. I was on my way to
Daggs which does a great pick and mix bulb selection (it's the only place that sells bluebells and snowdrops) when I passed David Sherry who is sitting in the window of McCormack's Music Shop on Bath Street, eating and drinking and watching telly - part of BBC Three's Xmas Visions. I saw some of his stuff back in February and as the blurb says, 'He is known for his performances that point out little truths about our existence, but which appear to be completely pointless'. I have a bit of bother with some modern art, but liked this, probably because it was such a surprise, and because he was watching The Royal Tenenbaums at the time.
I don't have many ambitions in life, but one is to ride on all the subways in the world. I don't pursue this too hotly (I've been on about 12), and I'm not a trainspotter, let's get that straight, I just like subways. I like the maps and the typography, and the point where you're somewhere new but feel like a local. This week I got to go on a new one - the Tyne and Wear Metro in Newcastle, one of only 3 in the UK. There's something quite old school about it - little yellow tickets like the tube in Glasgow used to have; no automated barriers, just unmanned turnstiles relying on a kind of honour system; two lines so it's easy to follow (but not as easy as Glasgow's); and the name of the station written in huge letters on the platform walls. Plus some good names like Percy Main and Four Lane Ends. Almost as good as Brussels (Louise, Albert, Jacques Brel) and Boston (Maverick, Alewife, Andrew, Wonderland). After that, lunch in what was the Vick and Comet in Get Carter, and a beautiful journey home past this, the Engineering Research Station at Killingworth and the beautiful art deco Wills Factory (as it was, and as it is now).
Odds & sods:
December already. Sheesh. New likes up.
I like recommends:
Ed Ruscha by Richard Marshall. Beautiful pop art paintings of gas stations and more.
The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society by Andy Miller. Great little book. Part of the 33 1/3 series from Continuum Books.
Just above the mantlepiece: mass market masterpieces by Wayne Hemingway. Beautiful books of paintings by J. H. Lynch, Tretchikoff and others.