27.11.05 - Everything is illuminated
Some photos from the Radiance Festival which lit up the Merchant City in Glasgow this weekend. My favourite bit was Ross Sinclair's installation (left) which had lots of neon signs saying "We heart..." various things about Scotland: - alcohol, parsimony, Bonnie Prince Charlie, failure. Franck Scurti's reflected signs were also pretty good and Dave Bryant's Trapped which had huge insects and various other things taking over an old office building was brilliant. See-c has a better Flickr set and judging by the number of people taking photos there will be lots more to come.
24.11.05 - Reasons to be cheerful
This week I have been mostly:
20.11.05 - Monday Monday
17.11.05 A funny thing happened on the way to the crematorium
For one reason and another I've been at a lot of cremations over the past couple of years. What surprised me is how beautiful each crematorium was. Functional but elegant, and symmetrical and grand with lots of green space all around. Linn Crematorium in Castlemilk is a stunning modernist building, quite unusual for Glasgow with lots of stained glass and these rather outré wings (I don't know the architectural term). I was trying to find out a bit about the architecture and ended up reading through the history of British cremation. In the 1960s there was a rapid increase in the number of crematoria in the UK with 30 opening between 1960-1 alone (Linn was built in 1962). I had a struggle with myself wondering if it was okay to take pictures. It seemed a bit intrusive even though the place was deserted but I'm glad I did. I can't think of another building like it in Scotland. Death redesigned: British crematoria - history, architecture and landscape (published December 2005) by Hilary J. Grainger looks ideal for finding out more. Meanwhile, if anyone knows who the architect was, or has info on similar buildings please get in touch.
13.11.05 - Odds and sods
07.11.05 - One last fling
I am now too pregnant to be allowed on a plane, so last week was my final trip to London for a while. I wanted to mark the occasion somehow, and settled on a ceremonial early morning coffee in the Regency Cafe in Victoria which I'd wandered past by accident on an earlier trip. I like the monochrome simplicity of the frontage, and the decor which treads a thin line between spartan (lavvy-style tiles, plastic seats) and cosy cottage (Spurs memorabilia, gingham curtains). Even at 7.30 it had a great bustle about it, with tailor-made orders getting shouted out left, right and centre. The "scrambled egg on two toast" looked great - fluffy eggs on big white doorstops. Made me sorry I'd already had breakfast. And the nice thing about all the bustle is it makes it a good place for a cup of tea and a think, a sort of still point of the turning world. I sat and looked at this lovely old coffee poster feeling peaceful, and at the same time, excited about how everything is going to change.
06.11.05 - Stranger danger
01.11.05 - If you know what's good for you
Find of the month are these Public Information Films published online by the National Archives. Released to celebrate the Central Office of Information's 60th birthday there will be 60 in all, published in batches starting with 1945-51. Of the 22 out now, 3 are Department-of-the-Bleedin'-Obvious type public health films Coughs and Sneezes, Don't Spread Germs (includes a guide to proper use of a handkerchief) and the Modern Guide to Health. There are also 4 Halas & Batchelor animated films featuring cartoon everyman Charley who was used to promote everything from National Insurance to New Towns. As if that wasn't enough there are two films about the Festival of Britain - Brief City and Festival in London. There's even a film about the films themselves Shown by Request explaining how they were produced and distributed. Enjoy.