Tag Archives: memories

Pierdom

Southend Pier by Simon RobertsSouthend-on-Sea, Essex

I’m very fond of the British seaside. Not so much in a twee “OMG, let’s take photos and eat candyfloss!” kind of way – although that can be fun – but because there is so much to genuinely love about these former tourist traps, with their juxtaposed tackiness and architectural charm. I spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in Britain, as opposed to going on package holidays to places like Tenerife or The Costa del Sol. I felt quite envious of my classmates, who got to travel on an aeroplane and were guaranteed sunshine but, looking back, I think that spending rainy days in a caravan in Scotland and having trips out to Morecambe, Southport and Blackpool has made me feel more connected to the place where I was born. As I got older, I began to romanticise the typical English seaside resort because of their mix of joy, despair and faded grandeur. Of course this is present in a lot of small towns, but with the harshness of winter and idyll of summer by the coast, these extremes seem…amplified. This isn’t just some abstract feeling I have either. Although there are exceptions to this trend in prosperous locations, such as Brighton and Poole, the traditional British seaside town has long been in decline – offering the kind of unfashionably kitsch holiday that belongs to your granny and granddad’s halcyon days. A recent report called ‘Turning The Tide‘ details the deprivation present in the UK’s coastal towns – including the ones which haven’t been totally deserted by tourists. In a lot of these towns, the grand old hotels have since been converted into bedsits that are full of transients. Although I will always have a soft spot for Blackpool in particular, the reality of life there is pretty grim. In the series ‘Pierdom’, Simon Roberts focuses on Britain’s iconic Victorian piers, and his lens captures my feelings about these places perfectly. From wind-bitten, rusting structures to sun-bathed promenades, his photographs evoke the curious charm and essence of the British seaside.Hastings Pier Simon RobertsHastings, East Sussex

Boscombe Pier Simon RobertsBoscombe, Hampshire

Teignmouth Grand Pier Simon RobertsTeignmouth, Devon

Blackpool South Pier Simon RobertsBlackpool, Lancashire

More of Simon Roberts’ brilliant photography is on his website – there are more photographs from the Pierdom series, and you should also have a look at another project he has done called ‘We English‘, which focuses on English tourism in a much broader context.

iPhotos iEverywhere

iPhone CityiPhone TaxiiPhone ChildI know that this new iPhone advert is supposed to be poignant and heartwarming, but I actually find it a little but creepy and unnerving. I’ve probably watched too many episodes of ‘Black Mirror’, because this advert just reminds me that we’re under constant surveillance.

Everyone wants to take pictures of everything! I don’t like to think about it too much, but it really freaks me out to think that there is a very real possibility that a complete stranger has taken a picture of me either passed out or wearing a badly-chosen outfit, just so they can upload it to Facebook and get a few derisive ‘Likes’ at my expense. It’s even worse when you think about how this kind of attitude can escalate – like in the recent Steubenville rape case. It’s definitely got to the point now where taking photos all the time hasn’t just become mundane and disposable – like the scenes in the iPhone ad. Gawking and voyeurism is so deeply embedded in contemporary society that it’s become quite disconcerting. Especially because, to some extent, we’re all guilty of it.

With the recent introduction of Google Glass, a campaign group called Stop The Cyborgs have called for the gadget to be banned in certain areas – something which I am definitely in favour of. The BBC article covering the story raises a lot of interesting questions. While it’s definitely true that technology and innovative design makes our lives faster and easier, these new inventions are also shaping our attitudes in ways that very few could have predicted.

HAERTS – Wings

HAERTS BandHAERTS are female-fronted band of four guys and one girl, who hail from Brooklyn, New York. Their first single is a beautifully tender piece of lo-fi pop, set to a montage of home video-style clips. I’ve looked for other stuff by them, but this song is the only one I can find. I’m guessing that as it’s on Vevo, they are already on the brink of mainstream success. Judging by ‘Wings’, they sound pretty great and I hope the rest of their songs live up to expectations. Lead singer Nini Fabi’s vocals are sweet, but powerful – like a mixture of Gwen Stefani and Stevie Nicks.

This song is sort of what I was hoping for when I first listened to HAIM. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed.

Present & Correct

Present & Correct stationeryFucking hell, I love stationery. I rarely even need stationery these days, but I’ve always loved it. I’ve always been really precious about the contents of my pencil case, too. When I was a kid I used to obsessively buy paper, notepads and sketchbooks. I also used to use my superior stationery inventory to leverage power over the other kids in my primary school – if you pissed me off, there was absolutely no way you’d be borrowing my felt tips anytime soon. Present & Correct sells the kind of stationery that I wouldn’t want to lend to anyone. I doubt I’d even allow my current closest friends to borrow it, let alone my primary school frienemies! Their stock is all so lovely that it’s like my inner brat just wants to have and hoard everything that they sell.Present & Correct vending machineThis classic vending machine is in their Islington shop – which hasn’t been open long – and you can get a surprise selection of office sundries for £2. Unfortunately for me, the shop is only open from Tuesday to Friday and occasionally on weekends, so it looks like I’ll have to make my selection from their website.
Present & Correct websiteEven their website is exquisite, though. Just look at that tasteful colour scheme and the meticulous art direction for each product! It’s like design porn.

“I’d like to thank my fans, my family…”

Gwyneth Paltrow blubbing at The OscarsI’ve been given an award by fellow blogger Sarah over at Pursuit of Plenty. Yay! Unfortunately, there’s no awards ceremony so I won’t be blubbing like Gwyneth Paltrow, and I guess I’ve still got a lot more time to write and rehearse any kind of acceptance speech. The award in question is called The Liebster Award and is an unofficial way of honouring the work of other bloggers who have 200 followers or less. However, to accept the award you have to nominate some more Liebster recipients – therefore by nominating more bloggers you’re helping to get other blogs noticed too.

The Rules

1. List 5 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 5 questions given to you.
3. Create 5 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 5 worthy bloggers to nominate.
5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

 5 Facts about Me

1. My first word was ‘cat’.

2. In 2008, I applied to be on Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend and made it to the last 300. Yeah, I definitely dodged a bullet with that one…

3. My least favourite job was when I worked at the Toast concession in Selfridges.

4. When I was 20, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy, although it’s probable that I have suffered from narcolepsy since my mid-teens.

5. I hate Marmite.

Sarah’s Questions for Me

1. If you could pick a theme song for yourself, what would it be? Imagine the opening credits in the movie of YOU, or when you walk out into the ring for the biggest fight of your life…
Eww. To be perfectly honest, I think that picking your own theme song is kind of like picking a nickname for yourself – pretty lame! If I could choose my own theme song I’d probably want it to be something a bit villainous and cool, like ‘Queen Bitch’ by David Bowie or ‘Vicious’ by Lou Reed.

2. What one quote/saying inspires you consistently?
Less a quote, more just a piece of great advice from my granny, who is undoubtedly the wisest lady I know. Her advice on worries and anxiety is this: “If you can do something about it, get on with it! If you can’t do anything about it, try and forget about it.”

3. You’ve been given $10,000 to donate to any one (non-profit) cause. Where do you invest?
I’d give my money to a conservation charity because I think it’s important to protect species of endangered animals and, shamefully, I don’t feel that I do enough to try and offset the damage my lifestyle inevitably has on the environment.

4. If you could own one piece of art from any major museum what would it be?
Not sure, but I found a couple of nice pieces I’d like to own on Artsy.Harland Miller Fuck ArtHarland Miller – Fuck Art, Let’s Dance

Howard Hodgkin In IndiaHoward Hodgkin – In India

5. What do you consider to be your most brilliant asset?
Probably my sense of humour. It’s not always easy to see the funny side of a situation, but I think it’s sometimes helpful in life.

My Nominees

The Daily Psychedelic Video – surreal, funny and beautiful videos which are posted every day.

Shiny Shiny New – a great music blog which has introduced me to some great bands, like Temples.

Construct of the Mind – a visual feast that combines music with art to create a multi-sensory experience. The music on this blog isn’t always to my taste, but the choices in art are generally flawless.

Beautiful Stills From Beautiful Films – pretty self-explanatory.

Institute Magazine – so many slick and wonderful fashion editorials on this blog.

Honourable mentions also go to The Style Raconteur and She Walks Softly – both excellent blogs, but they have more than 200 followers.

Questions for my Nominees

1. What would your ideal Sunday consist of?
2. If you could relocate to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
3. What made you decide to start blogging?
4. What do you wish you did more often?
5. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

The New Pointillism

I don’t have fond memories of first learning about pointillism in secondary school. I hated the dull little scenes made out of dots, hated the distinctive impressionist colour palette…and especially hated having to imitate the style by creating a picture using cotton buds. No wonder the style was first ridiculed when it was an emerging movement! However, these modern incarnations of pointillism are definitely to be admired – the creation of texture and depth through the use of fragmented marks is really surprising in some instances.

Federico Pietrella has used date stamps to build up these images. Really quite amazing when you think about rubber stamps – one thing that I always remember about those tricky fuckers is that the ink would very rarely distribute itself evenly.

Eric Daigh‘s pushpin portraits have a great pop art quality to them, and the scale means that Daigh hasn’t sacrificed any detail by using this ‘unorthodox medium’.

Christian Faur‘s images remind me of anaglyphs. Using crayons to form the subject has added a rich variety of tone and depth because of the pointed wax tips.

The Human Printer is a project by Louise Naunton Morgan, who painstakingly recreates old printing techniques by hand.

Koalas To The Max is a fun little site that I found through The Useless Web. If you’ve got a bit of time to kill, then you can reveal an image made of dots just by using your mouse – no skill or cotton buds required!

Cartoon Network Turns 20!

Cartoon Network always felt like such a treat for me as a kid. We didn’t have a Sky subscription back then, so I’d never tire of watching endless cartoons whenever I got the chance. London design agency, I Love Dust, created this two minute video for Cartoon Network’s twentieth anniversary and – although I don’t recognise many of the characters now – it still makes me feel all happy and fuzzy inside.